Skip to main content

Full text of "Robert Carter: his life and work. 1807-1889"

See other formats













> "?, 










,0 



- -/"" •■ \ ' H 1/ ' \ 









X / 






V 







ROBERT CARTER. 



He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost 
and of faith.— Acts xi. 24. 

A devout man, and one that feared God with all his 
house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to 
God always. — Acts x. 2. 




ypr&~< (' 



Robert Carter: 



fig Life ana anorfo 



[tub library 
jof c ongr ess 

washington 



Ww> 



1807-1889. 



v (XaAx^ VjqcVv 













ay** 



£3 



. / 



NEW YORK: 

ANSON D. F. RANDOLPH AND CO. 

1 891. 



1$$ 



Copyright, 1891, 
By Anson D. F. Randolph & Co- 



John Wilson and Son, Cambridge. 



This book is written for the friends of Robert 
Carter. It is not expected that those who did not 
know and love him will care to read it; but those 
who did will find in it a record written by feeble 
though loving hands, that may serve to recall to them 
some of the incidents of a life that was to no ordi- 
nary degree lived for others. 

"It is a frail memorial, but sincere ; 

e noticed 1 

A. C. C. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

Pages 1-31. 



Early Days in Scotland. Birth and Parentage. Desire for Education. 
Adventure with a Dog. Buying Josephus. Village Fair. Foster's 
Essays. Joining the Church. Anecdotes of his Father. Fireside 
Stories. Harvesting. Teaching at Fifteen. Walk to Peebles. Dr. 
Sloan's School. Edinburgh University. Professor Pillans. Lubienski. 
Decides to come to America. 



CHAPTER II. 

Pages 32-49. 

Leaving Home. Incidents of the Voj'age. First Day in New York. Dr. 
Griscom. Professor Anthon. Hon. Gulian C. Verplanck. Dr. Stark. 
The Scotch Church. Different Schools. Marriage. Entering Business. 
Bible the First Book sold. Resolved against Debt. Consecrating Half 
his Income. 

CHAPTER III. 

Pages 50-76. 

Death of his First-Born. Miss Catherine Sinclair, Visit to Europe in 1841. 
D'Aubigne's History of the Reformation. Home's Introduction. 
Business Principles. Aim in all Publications. Tribute of Mr. Ran- 
dolph. Incidents of Western Journeys. Death of his Father. Board 
of Foreign Missions. Hon. Walter Lowrie. Mr. William Steel. 
Free Church of Scotland. 



Vlli CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER IV. 

Pages 77-105. 

Voyage to Europe in 1846. Interviews with Dr. Chalmers and others. " God 
in the Storm." Dr. Lyman Beecher. Dr. Thomas De Witt. Bookstore 
a Rendezvous for Clergymen. Authors his Friends. His Brothers 
made Partners. Affectionate Relations between Brothers. Peacemak- 
ing. Visitation of Sick and Afflicted. Story of Kate Curtis. Last 
Interview with Dr. Griscom. Mr. Carter's Prayers. Testimony of a 
Unitarian Friend. 

CHAPTER V. 

Pages 106-143. 

Mr. Samuel Thomson. The Two Mothers. Home Life and Family Training. 
Europe in 1854. Enthusiastic Traveller. Dr. Norman Macleod. Mrs. 
Lundie Duncan. Loss of the " Arctic." Hospitality. Fugitive Slaves. 
Katy Ferguson. Aged Slave Woman in Charleston. Desire for his 
Children's Conversion. Temperance Stories. Sharon Springs. Pro- 
fessor Mitchell. Archbishop Hughes. Dr. Thornwell. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Pages 144-173. 

American Bible Society. Princeton Seminary. New York Sabbath Com- 
mittee. Europe in 1861. Dr. Macleod again. Journe}- with Dr. 
Guthrie. John Brown, M.D. Magdalen Asylum. The Queen at 
Crathie Church. Professor Mitchell. Italy. Archbishop Hughes 
again. Rome in 1862. Sunday at La Tour. Dr. Cesar Malan. 
Letters from Dr. and Mrs. Guthrie. 



CHAPTER VII. 

Pages 174-197. 

Country Parishes. Stockbridge and Egremont. Interest in the Young. 
Southern Friends. An Aged Heroine. Death of his Mother. Letters 
from Dr. McCosh. General Assembly Experiences. Ministerial Relief. 
Peoria and Newark. National Presb} r terian Convention. Prayer for 
Unity. Assembly at Albany. Story of Lord Kilmarnock. New York, 
Pittsburg, and Philadelphia. 



CONTENTS. IX 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Pages 198-230. 

Dr. Cuyler. President Hopkins. Dr. Parker. Bishop Bickersteth. Golden 
Wedding. Testimonial from Booksellers. Mr. Randolph and Dr. 
Prime. Dr. Macduff. Deaths of Mr. Cochran and of Mrs. Carter. 
Letters. Interest for his Grandchildren. Last Illness. 

FUNERAL SERVICES. 

Pages 231-242. 

Resolutions of Board of Foreign Missions. American Bible Society and 
Sabbath Committee. 

RESOLUTIONS OF SOCIETIES. 

Pages 243-246. 



OBITUARY NOTICE. 
Pages 247-250. 



LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 



CHAPTEE I. 

IN the sturdy character of a Christian Scotchman, 
brought up in the earnest fashion of his Cove- 
nanting ancestors, there is something that carries our 
thoughts into the Book of Psalms on which they so 
loved to dwell, and we think of the " tree planted by 
the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his 
season ; his leaf also shall not wither ; and whatsoever 
he doeth shall prosper"; for "his delight is in the law 
of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and 
night." " With long life shall he be satisfied," for he 
has the promise that " goodness and mercy shall follow 
him all the days of his life, and he shall dwell in the 
house of the Lord forever." 

Never were these words more truly fulfilled than in 
the history of Eobert Carter. His life was successful 
in the best sense. God seemed to give him the desire 
of his heart, and did not withhold the request of his 
lips. Chastening was sent to him, lest there should be 
any doubt as to his being one whom the Lord loveth ; 
but in his long and honored life sunshine predominated 
over shadow, joy over sorrow. He went to his grave 
like a shock of corn fully ripe, with no cherished plan 
defeated, his work well accomplished, his faith firm and 



2 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

clear, "knowing that his Redeemer liveth. Let those 
to whom he was dear give, as he would have done, all 
the glory to the One who loved him, and washed him 
from his sins in His blood. 

About thirty miles from Edinburgh, and as many 
from the English border, stands the pleasant village 
of Earlston. It is in the heart of one of the most 
beautiful parts of Scotland. Four miles off is Melrose 
with its classic abbey, and not far away Abbotsford, 
where the Wizard of the North wove many an enchant- 
ing spell, and Dryburgh, where he lies buried. 

In the beginning of the present century Earlston was 
so secluded from intercourse with the surrounding world 
that there was not even a stage-coach running through 
it. The ancestors of some of the villagers could be 
traced back for five or six centuries, and in that time it 
had made little progress. Many had been born, grown up 
to manhood, and died in a good old age, who had never 
gone beyond the hills which formed its sensible horizon. 
But they were an intelligent people, eager for books and 
learning, sustaining good schools, where even the poor- 
est had the opportunity of studying Latin and Greek ; 
and they were also a God-fearing folk, bringing up their 
children in his fear and in the study of his Word. The 
minister went from house to house duly examining the 
children in their knowledge of the Scriptures and the 
Catechism, and it has been said that if at nine o'clock at 
night one had gone through the village he would have 
heard the sound of psalm-singing and prayer and read- 
ing of the Word of God in every house, so general was 
the custom of family worship. 

In one of these homes Robert Carter was born, on No- 
vember 2, 1807. He was the second child, having an 
elder brother who grew up into a worthy manhood, but 



PARENTAGE. 3 

Eobert always took the lead in the family, his strong 
vigorous character seeming to give him the birthright. 

His father, Thomas Carter, was a native of Earl- 
ston, a man of sterling qualities and much intelligence. 
His mother, whose maiden name was Agnes Ewing, of 
Sprouston, near Kelso, was a woman of great original- 
ity, bright and quick-witted, and withal an earnest 
Christian. 

Her own lips long years afterwards told the follow- 
ing story of these early days. , She had all her life been 
accustomed to attend church twice a day on Sunday. 
When her oldest child was born she was obliged to stay 
at home with it one half of the day, and this was a sore 
trial. Good old Mr. Lauder, the minister, called one 
day, and she told him how greatly she felt the priva- 
tion. " I will give you a text," said he, " to think of, as 
you sit at home with the baby : ' Take this child and 
nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages.' " The 
words sank into her heart, and were a constant source 
of strength to her in the rearing of her eleven children. 
The promise was indeed kept to her, — the wages given; 
for few mothers have received such tender and watch- 
ful care as did she until she went to her final reward at 
the age of eighty -two years. 

Mr. Walter Carter, one of her younger sons, gives 
the following sketch of his parents. 

" You ask me for a brief sketch of my father, and I am 
turning over the leaves of memory to recall the days of 
childhood and youth. Thomas Carter was a short, broad- 
shouldered, broad-chested man ; the strongest at a lift I 
ever knew. His arms seemed to set all resistance at de- 
fiance, either at a pull, a push, or a blow. His hair was 
black, his cheeks red and rosy, his face full and open as 
the day, — the very picture of health and strength. He 



4 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

never had a headache, never was sick for a day. He was 
overflowing with animal spirits, ready for the joke, the 
laugh, and the Scottish story, — a great reader, a free and 
easy speaker. 

" He was a true Celt, and traced his pedigree to the High- 
lands in days long gone by. His ancestors, being Protes- 
tants, fled from the fire of persecution and their native 
heath to the Lowlands, and found a refuge, where we 
were all born, in the pleasant village of Earlston on the 
Leader. Their names are on the gravestones in the parish 
churchyard. 

" His father died when he was a year old, and his godly 
mother and the old minister brought him up. He often 
spoke of spending an hour at the manse on Sabbath even- 
ings, before Sunday schools were thought of, with his wise 
and kind minister, Eev. Mr. Dalziell, and he treasured those 
lessons till his dying day. His mother was a remarkable 
woman. Mr. Dalziell used to say, that, if the Bible had 
been lost, Mrs. Carter could have restored it from memory. 
He was famous as an athlete in all the Scottish games where 
strength and agility were required, and with his high spirit, 
and quick though kindly temper, he often got into boyish 
scrapes. His mother could not get hold of him during the 
day, but exercised her parental control and correction at 
night. One night while she was plying the 'tawse,' a long 
piece of leather cut into strips at one end, he made a good 
deal of noise, and she said, ' Solomon says we must not 
spare a child for his crying.' Father lost his patience, — 
although usually most loving and respectful to his mother, 
whom he almost worshipped, — and cried, ' Solomon has 
naething to do wi' it.' 

" His mother's fervent prayers, in family worship and at 
his bedside, as she pleaded for her children to the widow's 
God, bore fruit in his giving his heart early to the Lord 
Jesus. Indeed, he never knew when the change came. He 
always took delight in prayer, and in the ministry of the 



PARENTAGE. 5 

Word, and every spare moment was spent in prayerful 
reading of the Bible. 

" He had a good English education ; his wide reading and 
reflection, his frank and friendly spirit to all, his lively inter- 
est in the current questions of the day, made him ready and 
helpful in any society in which he might be placed. He was 
wisely directed in the choice of a wife when he married 
Agnes Ewing, the daughter of a respected elder in the 
Antiburgher Church. Her gentle, kindly nature, her wis- 
dom and conservatism, held in check his more impulsive 
spirit, and for forty years she was a most faithful and loving 
wife, and a model mother of eleven children, who all grew 
to be men and women ; for forty years there was no death 
in the family, and father was the first to be taken. Like 
Abraham, he erected an altar at once in the little stone 
cottage where we were all horn, the scene of so much true 
happiness. The fire never went out on that altar until the 
family left for America, and was rekindled in the home in the 
New World. For some years my father's business took him 
from home at too early an hour to gather his children around 
him, and mother took the duty, and how lovingly was the 
sacred duty done ! In well chosen, fervent, tender words 
she commended the children and the absent husband to 
the Heavenly Father's care. 

" The earliest recollections I have are of those morning 
prayers. My father was gifted in prayer, and I used to 
wonder if I should ever be able to pour out my heart as 
he did to the Father in heaven ; but my mother's prayers, 
so loving, so filial, so reverent, touched my heart, and led 
to a desire that I too might so pray, and get an answer 
of peace. 

" The Sabbath was in our household the ' day of days.' 
The family morning worship, the breakfast table surrounded 
by a crowd of hungry, happy children and parents all to- 
gether, glad at the reunion and the prospect of rest and 
worship; the morning church, all attending; after dinner, 



6 LIFE OF ROBEKT CARTER. 

family worship again (twice on week days, three times on 
Sabbath) ; a few words about the sermon, and prayer for a 
blessing on the preached Word ; then Sabbath school. It 
was the first Sabbath school in the south of Scotland, and 
well attended; all the churches in the village sent their 
quota ; its superintendent was Rev. Mr. Crawford of the 
Relief Church • Brother Robert was his assistant, and took 
his place when he was absent ; both were good. We met in 
a stone cottage built from the ruins of the Rhymer's Tower. 
We had none of the modern improvements, — no library, no 
Sunday school hymns or picture papers ; but we had the 
Bible, the Shorter Catechism, and Rouse's version of the 
Psalms ; also earnest teaching of the Word, heart to heart 
work, hearty singing of the grand old Psalms, and fervent 
prayer for the Divine blessing ; afternoon church, when old 
and young went again, then home to supper, when the 
younger children gave the texts and the older ones portions 
of the sermons, while father and mother made the practical 
application. 

" In the early evening of the Sabbath, while father was 
reading some of his Puritan or early Scottish divines, mother 
took her seat with the children around her, and gave us the 
lesson on the Shorter Catechism. As soon as we could talk, 
the first answer was recited by the youngest child, and all 
came in as far as they could go ; those over six were expected 
to go clear through ; mother would ask the questions and 
give the answers without book, while she explained the more 
difficult ones and applied them to the duties of daily life. I 
can still remember Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, as 
explained by her, the difference between an act and a work, 
the several points in Effectual Calling, God's side and our 
side in the matter (so often a stumbling-block to the carnal 
mind, and such a comfort to the mature Christian) of Elec- 
tion. Family worship closed the blessed day. When I hear 
of the weariness in some families now, I wonder, — and bless 
God for such parents." 



EARLY DAYS IN SCOTLAND. 7 

Among Eobert Carter's earliest recollections was the 
rejoicing caused by the battle of Waterloo. He was 
then only seven years old, but he always remembered 
the illuminations and shoutings and talk about Bona- 
parte and Wellington. It seemed at the time as if all 
things must thereafter go on smoothly, since the mighty 
foe had been conquered and was banished to St. Helena. 
But the long war and the great triumph had to be paid 
for, and for many years the heavy taxes bore down hard 
upon the working classes. Thus the early years of this 
century became very trying times financially in Britain. 
The day wages of an ordinary laborer were but a shilling, 
while those of the artisan class were only a little more. 

Earlston was famous for its ginghams ; these were 
the best in Scotland, fine, soft, and silky, and a larger 
part of the families in the village were weavers. The 
work was not done in mills, but each weaver had his 
loom set up in his own cottage, and sold his web when 
finished directly to the merchants. 

In Thomas Carter's cottage there were six looms, 
worked by himself, his two eldest sons, and hired 
helpers, for a stern necessity compelled every member 
of the large family to go to work as soon as they were 
able to manage a loom. 

At the age of nine years and six months Eobert was 
taken from school and put at the loom, and from that 
time his education was acquired entirely by his own ex- 
ertions. Of this period he wrote long afterwards : — 

" My work was light, but tedious. From dawn till 
ten and sometimes till eleven at night I had to toil 
until my task was done. I cared little for the confine- 
ment, but felt grievously the loss of books and mental 
improvement. From early childhood I had an insa- 
tiable thirst for reading. The stories of Wallace and 



8 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

Bruce, the Pilgrim's Progress, Hervey's Meditations, 
and many other books of a somewhat motley character, 
cheered my solitary hours. 

" After becoming acquainted with my trade, I had 
a board erected at my left hand, on which I fastened 
my book, and worked and read all day. The books in 
my father's library having run out, I was obliged to 
borrow from some of my neighbors. One weaver in 
particular, who owned what I considered a splendid 
library, very generously offered to lend me such as I 
might select. Eollin's Ancient History, in six volumes, 
was the first I read, and great was my delight in travel- 
ling the field through which the French historian led 
me. One incident occurred, however, when I had fin- 
ished the fourth volume, which I feared would put an 
end to my delightful feast. While I was on my way 
with that volume under my arm to exchange it for the 
fifth, a dog sprang at me and made his teeth almost 
meet in the book. When I saw what he had done, I 
burst into tears and continued crying until I reached 
the dwelling of my kind friend. 

" When I showed him how much the book was in- 
jured, ' Oh ! ' said he, ' I am so glad that it was the book, 
and not your arm. It might have cost you your life. 
Here is the next volume.' When he opened his book- 
case and handed me the next volume, I thought that he 
was the most generous man I had ever known. 

" A little before this, when I was about seven years 
old, there was an auction sale of old furniture, which, 
as it was a rare occurrence in the village, I attended 
with great interest. Towards the close of the sale, a 
copy of Josephus's Works in folio, much dilapidated, 
and minus one of the boards of the cover, was held up 
by the auctioneer, and, as no one seemed to bid, I called 



LOVE FOR BOOKS. 9 

out, ' Fourpence.' ' It is yours,' cried he, ' my little fel- 
low ; you 're the youngest bidder we Ye had to-day.' 
This fourpence had been collecting for some time pre- 
viously, and was probably the largest sum I had ever 
possessed. When I got the book in my arms, it was 
with no small difficulty I carried it home. With an 
apple I hired a little playmate to help me, and we car- 
ried it between us, and when we got tired, we laid the 
book down on the roadside and rested, each sitting on 
an end. But O what a treasure it proved while I 
eagerly devoured its contents ! I used to lay it down 
upon the cottage floor, and myself beside or upon it, 
and travel slowly down the long page until I reached 
the bottom, and then tackle the next page. I had read 
the Bible through twice in order, and I was eager to get 
all the additional information I could about the Jews. 
I was greatly puzzled by the word ' Greeting,' which 
occurred so often as a salutation at the beginning of 
letters. That was our Scottish word for crying, and I 
could not understand its relation to letters bearing good 
tidings. 

" Shortly after I finished Josephus, one fine summer 
evening, my father took me with him to pay a visit to a 
friend who owned a pretty little farm about three miles 
distant. He was reading Fox's Book of Martyrs when 
we arrived, and he told us that he was greatly fascinated 
by it. My father said that he would like to have such 
a book for his little boy, but that it was far too costly 
for him to purchase. The gentleman asked me to read 
a little for hitn. When I paused, he exclaimed, ' He is 
the finest reader I ever heard,' and inquired what school 
I attended. My father told him that I had not been 
at school since I was nine years old, but that I was 
extravagantly fond of reading. ' Well,' said he, 'I have 



10 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

finished the first volume, and you are welcome to it/ 
This work introduced me to a field entirely new and 
extremely rich in its details, and when I finished it I 
was sorry that there was no more of it to read. 

" About this period, my cousin Thomas Carter, who 
was a student in Edinburgh University preparatory to 
his theological course, had returned home to spend his 
summer vacation. He loved to visit us, and, though 
he was five years older than I, he became very much 
attached to me. He gave me his old Latin books, and 
came several times in the week to give me instructions 
in the elements of that language. I entered upon this 
study with all the zeal of which I was capable. Diffi- 
culty after difficulty gave way before me, and I soon 
became able to read Cordery's Colloquies, Cornelius Ne- 
pos, Caesar, Ovid, and Virgil. At a subsequent period, 
this cousin also taught me Greek. 

" There were two fairs in our village, one in summer 
and one in autumn each year. At these fairs, which 
were looked forward to with great delight by all the 
village boys, there assembled dealers in cattle, hard- 
ware, toys, and books. The stalls for the sale of books 
early possessed a charm for me, and I expended with 
much care the few pence I could muster on the occasion. 
At the summer fair, when I was twelve years old, I was 
standing by a stall where were exhibited some of the 
Latin classics. I picked up a copy of Ovid, and was 
looking very intently at the narrative of Pyramus and 
Thisbe, when a group of the grammar school boys paused 
beside me. One of them jeeringly said, ' What do you 
mean by pretending to read Latin ? ' ' This seems to be 
a pretty story,' said I ; ' won't you read it to me ? ' He 
began with the air of one who knew all about it, and 
with some difficulty made his way through a few lines. 



LOVE FOR BOOKS. 11 

' I don't think you are getting the meaning of it very- 
well. Let me try,' said I. And taking the volume, I 
commenced where he paused, and read freely on, to the 
no small astonishment of the boys, who agreed that I 
knew more about Latin than they did. This raised 
me not a little in the estimation of those who used to 
think me a dull, lifeless creature, who moped over 
books while they were at play, and gave a fresh im- 
pulse to my classical studies. 

" A volume which fell into my hands at this time 
had a powerful influence over my mind. This was 
Foster's Essays. The Essay on Decision of Character 
I remember reading on a grassy knoll one fine sunshiny 
afternoon after my task on the loom had been finished 
for the day. The perusal almost overwhelmed me. I 
arose and looked down upon the village, the meadow, 
and the silver stream that meandered through the val- 
ley beneath, and I felt that nothing was too difficult 
for me, provided I applied my faculties to it, and per- 
se veringly toiled on. The impulse received from this 
noble effort of genius was not soon lost, and even to 
this day I never take up the volume without feeling 
conscious that it has proved to me a real blessing. 

" The lessons assigned by my cousin Thomas grew 
more and more interesting after I became familiar with 
the first elements. The window at which I sat weav- 
ing commanded a view of the narrow footpath along 
which he always came ; and when I caught a glimpse 
of his manly figure as he approached, my heart leaped 
within me for joy. His patience was remarkable. 
He rarely censured me for doing too little, but often 
told me that I undertook too much. 

" During the three winter months, my father sent 
me to evening school to study arithmetic. My teacher 



12 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

was in my estimation one of the most amiable and 
affectionate of men. The pupils were few in number, 
not more than seven or eight, so that he devoted a 
great deal of attention to us. There was one great 
drawback, however, to our progress, — we lost during 
the nine months much of what we had acquired in 
three, so that the second winter it required some time 
to review before we entered on new ground. The third 
winter that I had the pleasure of attending this much 
loved teacher there was a general stagnation in business, 
so that the weavers could get no employment. I could 
find nothing else to do, so I attended school all day as 
well as in the evening for eleven weeks ; and this was 
the only period I was permitted to attend a day school 
since I was little more than nine years old. 

" I was just beginning a course in geometry, when I 
was hired by a farmer in the neighborhood to watch a 
field of newly sown wheat to protect it from the crows, 
and afterwards I was employed in herding cattle. This 
broke in sadly upon my darling pursuits. The fences 
were so bad that I could rarely venture to open a book. 
On one occasion I sat down upon the top of a stone wall 
covered with turf, and read a portion of the Book of 
Job. My attention was soon riveted on the subject, 
and I entirely forgot my duty. When I looked up from 
the Bible, there was not a cow in sight. I ran to an ad- 
joining height, and lo, the whole herd had jumped the 
fence, and were quietly feeding in an adjoining field. 
From that time I had to deny myself the gratification 
of reading, and a severe trial I found it to be. The 
times however improved, and as I succeeded in getting 
a web to weave, by which I could earn more money 
than by herding, I was released from this unhappy po- 
sition, and restored to my old favorites. 



RELIGIOUS DEVELOPMENT. 13 

" While I was thus struggling to improve my mind, 
I had no higher end in view than to raise myself above 
the humble condition in which I was placed. I could 
not bear to be looked down upon by those in more 
favored circumstances than myself. I attended church 
regularly twice every Sabbath, but it was not from love 
to the truth or a desire to profit by the Word, but simply 
from habit and obedience to my parents. My memory 
being retentive, I could in the Sabbath evening repeat 
large portions of the sermons ; but this only tended to 
foster my pride, as I got credit for attention to the dis- 
course, and was praised for being a good boy. Often, 
indeed, my heart was pricked by the faithful and earnest 
preaching under which I sat, — often was I inclined to 
cry out, ' What must I do to be saved ? ' Alas ! how 
often did I quench the Spirit, yet He did not leave me 
to my own devices. When I saw the members of the 
church approach the communion table while I was left 
behind, I had sore misgivings. I felt that it was my 
bounden duty to acknowledge my Lord and Saviour be- 
fore men and angels, and I often resolved that I would 
do so before the next communion. For six weeks pre- 
vious to the celebration of the Supper, notice was given 
from the pulpit of the day in each week when the 
minister would be glad to converse with those who de- 
sired to unite with the church in sealing ordinances. 
This was to me a time of searching of heart. I read 
Willison's Sacramental Meditations, and Henry's Com- 
municant's Companion, and other devotional works 
fitted to instruct and impress my mind, and at last I 
resolved to call upon the minister and state my con- 
victions. I was then fourteen years of age, a poor 
weaver lad, almost entirely excluded from society, — so 
much so that I had never until now entered the house 



14 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

of our pastor. Each year, indeed, he visited his entire 
flock from house to house, and on these occasions he 
catechised the children, conversed with the parents re- 
garding their spiritual interests, and prayed with the 
household ; but these were the only opportunities I had 
enjoyed of access to him in private. As the ambassa- 
dor of God, he appeared so venerable that I dreaded to 
approach him alone. And yet I preferred, I can hardly 
tell why, to converse with him rather than with my 
own father. On one of the appointed days I called at 
the manse and asked for the minister. I was introduced 
to his study, and told to be seated. My tongue clave 
to the roof of my mouth. After some short conversa- 
tion on other subjects, he interrogated me regarding the 
nature and end of the Lord's Supper, my motives for 
desiring to participate in it, and the duties devolving on 
those who thus renounced the world. The interview 
was brief. He kindly encouraged me, and expressed 
himself satisfied with my answers. On parting he re- 
quested me to tell my father to call on him, as he 
wished to converse with him on the subject, and if 
entirely satisfied I should meet with the session on the 
Thursday previous to the communion. No obstacles 
were presented to my reception, and I became a mem- 
ber of the Secession Church of Earlston. 

" This step I never regretted. It greatly strengthened 
me in my resolutions after amendment, and though I 
entered upon my Christian life in much fear and trem- 
bling, I was not left utterly to faint. When tempted to 
join with careless companions, I was withheld by the 
consideration, ' I have vowed unto the Lord, and cannot 
go back.' 

" About this time a young weaver, three years older 
than myself, often conversed with me upon spiritual 



CHRISTIAN NURTURE. 15 

subjects. We retired frequently together in the sum- 
mer evenings to a field near our house, and there kneeled 
down and engaged in prayer. I have often looked 
back with delight upon these spiritual interviews, espe- 
cially as my dear friend was, in the vigor of youth, 
seized with a brain fever, and after a severe struggle 
of five days yielded up his spirit into the hands of his 
Maker." " 

Mr. Carter's religious experience is a forcible illus- 
tration of the type of piety which is often seen where 
the training of children is faithful, and according to the 
Scriptural plan, where the parent is told to speak to his 
little ones " when thou sittest in the house, and when 
thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and 
when thou risest up." Christian nurture produces the 
highest kind of Christian character, symmetrical, earnest, 
and duty-loving. Of him the elder brothers and sisters 
who knew him as a child bore witness, " Eobert was al- 
ways a good boy." His sense of duty was ever strong, 
and even as a boy he lived not to himself. He assisted 
his parents in their responsibilities for the family, feel- 
ing as keen an interest as they did in the welfare of his 
brothers and sisters. Even to old age he never could 
understand how young men could work for themselves 
alone, without feeling the duty of helping their parents 
and extending to brothers and sisters a helping hand. 

As an illustration of the way in which the daily life 
of his parents constantly preached to him, he used often 
in after life to tell a story of his walking one day with 
his father to a place at some distance. The way was hot 
and dusty, and they were feeling very thirsty, when in a 
little nook by the roadside they espied a crystal spring. 
The boy sprang eagerly forward to drink, but the man 
paused by the spring-side and raised the broad Scottish 



16 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

bonnet from his head, and the child saw his father's 
lips move in prayer as he silently gave thanks to God 
before stooping to drink. It was an object lesson which 
he never forgot. Through life his grateful thought al- 
ways went up to the Giver before enjoying the gift. It 
is pleasant to think that, as the son afterwards told 
the story in many a Sunday school, the simple act of 
that Scottish peasant, who would not take so much as 
a drink of water without thanking God for it, lived on 
for more than seventy years, and is still told " for a 
memorial of him." He often used another memory of 
his father as an illustration of the Heavenly Father's 
care. His vivid imagination, excited by the stories 
often told among the peasantry of " ghaists and bogies," 
made him as a child timid when alone in the dark. 
One night he had been making a visit with his father 
to the house of a neighbor, and as they returned home 
a severe thunder-storm came up. His father noticed 
how the little fellow shrank and shuddered at the swift 
and vivid flashes of lightning, and, drawing him closer 
to his side, threw over his head the skirts of the long 
loose mantle he was wearing, and so the boy walked 
through the darkness, clinging to his father's hand, and 
lapped in the folds of his cloak, until they reached the 
safe and happy fireside of their own home. 

His strong imagination had ample food to feed upon 
in the tales of the Scottish border which were rife about 
them. He often described to his children how the 
neighbors would gather about their blazing fire of a 
winter's evening, and one and another would relate 
stories of life and adventure in the days of chivalry. 
Some of them he loved to repeat to the close of his 
life. Two of these stories he so often recounted to an 
interested circle of listeners, that they seemed to those 



SCOTTISH STORIES. 17 

who knew him best almost a part of himself, and as 
such are related here, as nearly as possible in his 
own words ; but the Scottish accent that lent them 
such a charm must needs be missing. 

James the First of Scotland was sent as a child to 
France to be educated ; but on the way his vessel was 
captured by an English cruiser, and he was carried 
a prisoner to England and brought up there to a de- 
gree of culture which he never could have found at the 
Scottish court. When he returned as a young man to 
Scotland, he found many abuses had arisen under the 
rule of his turbulent nobles, and these he set himself 
to correct. He was accustomed to go about incognito 
among his people, that he might discover their needs. 
One day in the garb of a peasant he approached a 
stream which he wished to cross, and seeing a soldier 
tishing near by he called to him to know if he could 
get across. 

" Ou, ay," he replied, " there is a ford just here ; but 
I '11 carry you across if you '11 gie me a gill o' whiskey 
at Meggie's," pointing to a tavern across the brook. 

" But what '11 ye do if ye drap me in ? " 

" Ou, then, I '11 gie ye twa gills." 

The king mounted the soldier's back, and the two got 
almost across the stream, when, as the soldier stoutly 
maintained afterwards, the king " clinked " him, and 
they both went down. " Aweel," said the soldier, " I '11 
have to pay you my twa gills." So the two went into 
Meggie's, and drank their two gills, but when it came 
to the reckoning the soldier found he had no money. 

" Hech, sirs," says the king, " what are ye gaun to 
dae noo?" 

" 0," says the soldier, " I '11 pawn my sword:" 

" But," says the king, " the twenty-first of the month 
2 



18 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

is coming roun', and there 's to be a graund review o' 
the troops, and what '11 ye do, wantin' your sword ? " 

" I hae a timber sword just as like the ither as twa 
peas, — ye couldna tell the ane frae the ither. 1 11 just 
carry that." 

The twenty-first of the month came round, and the 
king was to review the troops in person. A deserter 
was brought in, and taken before the king for him to de- 
cide upon his punishment. The king said that desertion 
was so common that it was necessary to devise some 
punishment that would strike terror into the hearts of 
offenders, and therefore he would condemn the culprit 
to decapitation, and would himself choose the comrade 
who must perform the execution. So the king walked 
along the line of troops until he came to his quondam 
friend of the brook, and, singling him out, he said, " You 
must be the executioner I " 

The poor fellow sank down upon his bare knees, for 
he was a Highlander, and begged to be let off. " Send 
me agen the Southron, and I will fight to the death ; 
but I canna imbrue my sword in the blood of a coun- 
tryman, I canna do it." But the king was inexorable, 
and the soldier was dragged forward, more dead than 
alive, to the place where a temporary scaffold had been 
erected. " May I not make a prayer with the unhappy 
wretch before he suffers ? " 

" Certainly, I canna refuse that," said the king. 

The soldier fell upon his knees and made a most fer- 
vent prayer that the eyes of those in authority might 
be opened, and that they might see the iniquity of tak- 
ing away that which they never could restore, and that, 
in testimony of his displeasure, the Almighty would be 
pleased to turn his steel sword into a timber one. " Be- 
hold a miracle ! " he then exclaimed, springing to his 



GEORDIE AND THE AMBASSADOR. 19 

feet, and waving his sword above his head. " Behold 
a miracle ! " 

The generals standing by stepped forward, and ex- 
amined the sword. " Please your Majesty, it is a fact. 
The sword is indeed a wooden one." 

The king was laughing in his sleeve, and with diffi- 
culty controlled himself sufficiently to order the release 
of the prisoner. Then he said to the soldier, " You 
are colonel of such a regiment," adding in a whisper, 
" but ye maunna pawn your sword at Meggie's again!' 

The other story was called " Geordie and the Am- 
bassador." 

When James the Sixth of Scotland came to the throne 
of England as James the First of that country, ambas- 
sadors came from all kingdoms of the Continent to con- 
gratulate him on his accession. Among the rest was the 
Spanish ambassador. One day he was talking with the 
king, who was a bit of a pedant, about the institutions 
of learning. He said, " There is one desideratum in our 
colleges which has never been attained. It is a profes- 
sorship to teach dumb signs, so that when a Frenchman 
and a Spaniard and an Englishman come together they 
may make themselves understood by each other without 
difficulty." 

Said the boastful king, " I have such a professorship. 
It is in the most northerly college in my dominions, at 
Aberdeen." 

" I would gladly travel far to see such a wonder," 
said the ambassador. " I shall go to Aberdeen." 

The embarrassed king wrote to the professors at 
Aberdeen that he was in a scrape, and they must get 
him out as best they could. When the ambassador 
arrived at Aberdeen, he was informed that the professor 
of dumb signs was from home for six weeks. " I am 



20 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

going to make the tour of the Highlands," said he, " and 
will be back in six weeks." When he returned, the 
professors concluded that he must be got rid of in some 
way, for it would ruin them to fete him during a long 
stay. 

There was one Geordie, a butcher, blind of one eye. 
Him they dressed up in professor's gown and a long 
wig coming down to his waist. Geordie was sworn not 
to speak, but only to answer the ambassador by signs. 
The ambassador was introduced, and the professors 
waited about the door. When he came out they asked, 
" How do you like our professor of dumb signs ? " 

"He is wonderful. I did not suppose such a man 
existed." 

" But, to descend to particulars, what did he do ? " 

" I held up one finger to intimate that there was one 
God. He held up two to show there was the Father 
and the Son. I held up three to denote the Trinity. 
He doubled his fist to show that there was Trinity in 
Unity. I held up an orange to show the bounty with 
which a kind Providence had blessed the earth. He 
held up a piece of oat cake to show that the staff of life 
was better than the delicacies of it." 

When Geordie came out, he was asked, "Aweel, 
Geordie, how did ye come on wi' the ambassador ? " 

" The ambassador ! If I had him at the dam, I would 
gie him a guid deuking." 

" Ye wadna deuk the ambassador, wad ye ? " 

" Atweel wad I." 

" But what did he dae ? " 

" He held up ae finger, making a fule o' me wi' my 
ae ee." Geordie was blind of an eye. u I held up two to 
say that my ane was as guid as baith his. He held 
up three to signify there was only three atween us. I 



LOVE FOR POETRY. 21 

doubled my nieve [fist] to let him ken I was ready for 
him. Mair than a' that, the puppy, he took out an 
orange to say that his country was a braw country, it 
could produce oranges. I took out a piece o' cake to 
let him ken that the land o' cakes was aye ready for 
his country, or else he needna be here." 

Eobert Carter's love for poetry was always very great. 
He became familiar with all the great poets, and learned 
his favorites by heart, and retained them through life. 
Gray's Elegy he loved to repeat. Young, Burns, Scott, 
and Byron he quoted at great length, and even Homer 
and Virgil in their original tongues. 

But to return to his own narrative : — 

" From a very early age the harvest was a season of 
hard labor. When not more than six or seven years 
old, I accompanied my elder brother to the harvest to 
glean behind the reapers. To pick up, one by one, the 
golden ears of wheat or barley or oats till our little 
hands were full, and then to bind up the handful ttid 
lay it aside, and commence again and again till the 
close of the day, with the back continually bowed down 
till it was almost like to break, was no easy task. And 
in the evening to carry home the fruits of the day's la- 
bor, sometimes a distance of one or two miles, required 
no small effort. Glad were we, worn out and weary, 
to sit down to our evening dish of oatmeal porridge 
and milk, and feel that our task for the day was done. 
During harvest I had no opportunity for reading. If 
I attempted to take a book in the evening, I invariably 
fell asleep. So that there was in each year a dreary 
blank which was worse than lost. 

"As soon as I was able to wield a sickle, I became a 
reaper. At first, I could only do half duty, so that two 
of us stood for one. This work was to me extremely 



22 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

painful. My hands were soft, and for the first week or 
two were sorely bruised. I often felt as if the sun 
stood still. And O what a relief did Saturday even- 
ing bring ! The Sabbath was truly a day of rest, though 
we were almost too tired to enjoy it. 

" One harvest, in order to see a little of the world, 
three of us set out on an excursion to England. After 
an early breakfast, we walked for seven or eight hours 
till we reached the Cheviot Hills, which separated Scot- 
land from England. The weather had been exceedingly 
wet ; a freshet, the largest for thirty-six years, had del- 
uged the valleys, and in many places had carried off 
the bridges, and of course rendered walking very toil- 
some. As we proceeded onwards, we came to a moun- 
tain stream which had only a few minutes before our 
arrival swept away a bridge of seven arches. The 
people of the vicinity were running to the spot, and 
wondering over the havoc. We inquired how we could 
proceed, and were told that we must ascend the banks 
of the stream till it divided into two, some miles above, 
and there they supposed it could be forded. We started 
on our weary way, and walked, hungry and tired, till 
we were almost ready to lie down in despair, when we 
saw a shepherd's house among the hills at a distance. 
Thither we sped, and inquired how far we had to go 
before the river could be forded, and were informed 
that it was only a short distance off. The shepherd's 
wife asked us if we would have a glass of milk, and 
when we gladly answered yes, she presented some 
brown bread and milk, which seemed the most deli- 
cious feast we had ever tasted. Much refreshed, we 
again sallied forth, and proceeded onwards till we came 
to the forks of the river, where, taking each other by 
the hand, we crossed in safety. 



HARVESTING. 23 

" Late that evening we reached a farmer's house, 
where we asked for employment, and were accepted. 
We had, however, to wait a day or two before the grain 
was sufficiently dry for the sickle, and these days were 
employed in visiting the peasantry in the neighborhood. 
We were painfully affected by the gross ignorance that 
prevailed. Many of them could neither read nor write, 
and their conversation was of course entirely different 
from that of the same class in Scotland, though they 
were only a few miles from the border. An epidemic 
which prevailed the previous summer had carried off 
nearly a third of the inhabitants, and yet, alas ! this 
chastening was in most cases without fruit. We shed 
many a tear with the poor survivors while they related 
their losses, but were pained by their vacant stare when 
we attempted to point out to them the resurrection and 
the life. 

" Here we remained several weeks, and aided in 
gathering in the harvest. A quarter of a century has 
since passed away. Not one of the simple cottagers 
with whom we were thus temporarily associated have I 
ever since seen or heard from. Doubtless a large por- 
tion of them have passed that bourne whence no trav- 
eller returns. Did we aid them in preparation for that 
momentous change ? I fear not. We were regular in 
our own private devotions, but I do not remember that 
we ever engaged in social prayer in any family of that 
neglected vineyard. 

"In 1822, when I was fifteen years of age, a cousin 
who had a private school in the small borough of Sel- 
kirk, ten miles off, invited me to take his place for the 
winter while he took a term at the University of Edin- 
burgh. This was an entirely new scene to me. On my 
way to Selkirk I passed Abbotsford, the fairy palace of 



24 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

Sir Walter Scott. He was sheriff of Selkirk, and was 
known in our vicinity as the ' Shirra/ Great was the 
love and reverence in which he was held. Many a 
time have I gazed upon the lovely scene on the banks 
of the Tweed where the Wizard of the North wrote his 
wonderful creations. It was nearly midway between 
my home and Selkirk. The winter I spent in that 
old borough was one of great value to me. I had 
the charge of sixty boys and girls, and it was to me a 
new life. I must have been a very unskilful teacher, 
but if I did not succeed in giving my pupils much in- 
struction, I learned much myself. 

"Mr. Campbell, the parish minister, asked me to visit 
the jail and give some instruction to a young man, more 
sinned against than sinning, who lay in his cell there. 
I went from time to time, and found him ready to drink 
in every kind of knowledge. I had never been in such 
a place before, and the sensation was a very strange 
one when the jailer opened the massive doors and shut 
them upon me. But when I saw the hapless youth 
gaze upon me with wistful eyes, and give me a hearty 
welcome, I felt there was a blessed work for me to do. 
I never had a scholar who made such progress in so 
short a time. He did not wish his friends at home to 
know that he was in prison. One day he asked me 
to look over and correct a letter he had written to 
his father, and one expression in it afforded me much 
amusement : ' My present situation is very easy, but 
it is so confining that I am determined to leave at 
Whitsunday, when I hope to see you.' 

" After my half-year in Selkirk, I returned to my 
loom again. In the following winter, 1823, I was 
urged to open an evening school in the spare room 
of our dwelling. I had twenty-eight scholars, most 



THE YOUNG TEACHER. 25 

of them older than myself. Shortly after we began 
work, a tall, powerful young man rose before the 
close of school, and went off without leave. Next 
evening I handed him books and slate, and told him 
he could not continue longer in my school. He left 
me, and soon came back with a letter from his father, 
begging me to take him back, and he would make any 
acknowledgments I chose. I took him back, and he 
never gave me any trouble again. I had the most per- 
fect command of the school, and, as they were all most 
anxious to learn, much progress was made. After 
school, I often studied far into the night by a coal 
fire instead of a candle. I was not allowed a candle, 
lest I should sit too late. Young's Night Thoughts, 
especially the first four books, I almost committed 
to memory. Forty years later, after a long conversa- 
tion with Archbishop Hughes, I quoted some lines from 
Young. ' Why,' said he, ' Young has been my vade 
mecum from my very early days.' I felt drawn to the 
aged prelate when I found he had drunk at the same 
fountain as I in life's morning. 

" In 1824, I taught school at a little hamlet four 
miles from home, and twice a week walked over the 
hills to meet my cousin, who heard me recite in Latin. 
I think I made more progress that season than at any 
other period, as I had no society to interfere with my 
studies. We held a prayer meeting in a shepherd's 
house once a week, when I was refreshed by the warm 
prayers of the good old rustics, who ' knew, and knew 
no more, their Bible true.' 

" In 1825, I opened a school in my native village. 
I had seventy day scholars, twenty at night. In my 
spare hours I read the Latin and Greek classics, and 
became somewhat familiar with the current literature I 



26 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

could reach. The minister of the Belief Church, Eev. 
David Crawford, had his Sabbath school in my school- 
house on Sunday afternoon, and a Bible class in the 
evening, and he invited me to take tea with him in the 
interval between the two sessions. This proved a great 
help to me, as he was a man of culture and refinement, 
and his library was open to me. His wife was a lineal 
descendant of the great Reformer, John Knox, and he 
sent me, after I came to America, a genealogical tree 
of her family, traced down through the three hundred 
years. He was afterwards called to Edinburgh to be a 
Secretary of the United Presbyterian Church. 

" During this period, Professor Pillans of Edinburgh 
gave a course of lectures to the teachers of Scotland. 
Anxious to hear these lectures, I walked to Edinburgh, 
a distance of thirty miles. I left home on a Monday 
morning, a few minutes after midnight, and reached 
Edinburgh at ten o'clock, in time to hear the first lec- 
ture. The course was very suggestive to me, and en- 
abled me to turn a new leaf. On Saturday at 1 P. M. 
I started for home, and reached it before midnight. 
Professor Pillans was the fellow student of Lord P>yron 
and Sir Walter Scott, and gave me many incidents 
of early days. He afterwards proved a most valuable 
friend." 

Mr. Walter Carter writes the following reminiscence 
of this time : — 

" The school was in a stone house near the ' Green,' on 
the Main Street. The large room was full of busy scholars, 
and the most rigid discipline, as in all the Scottish schools of 
that day, was maintained. As winter came on, there were 
signs of excitement in the school, as the habit was to bolt 
out the master on the shortest day, and have a holiday. 
When we reached the school that morning, we found the 



WALKS TO PEEBLES. 27 

scholars standing outside the door greatly elated. Some 
boys had barred the door, and had come out through a 
back window, thinking all was secure. Soon the master 
appeared on the street, with his usual alert step, and in- 
quired the cause of the uproar. He was informed that 
the door was barred. He went round to the rear, and, 
putting a boy in the window, told him, in a voice that 
could not be gainsaid, to unbar the door. A more disap- 
pointed and crestfallen lot never defiled into school. It 
was very soon understood that one will there was law, 
and no appeal." 

To resume the narrative of Eobert Carter : — 
"After three years' work in my native village (1825— 
1828) I walked one Friday afternoon to Melrose to visit 
a friend who was a student of theology. He received 
me very kindly, asked me to read to him in Latin and 
Greek, and then told me he had received a letter from 
Peebles, where he had taught for two years. The Eec- 
tor of the Grammar School in which he had taught 
wanted a young man to fill the place he had occupied, 
and he urged me to go the following morning and apply 
for it. I told him I had not been at college, or even at 
grammar school, and that I was certainly unfit to take 
that place. He replied, ' You read the classics more 
fluently than I do, and if you go I will guarantee you 
will get it.' I started the next morning at five, and 
walked twenty-five miles, and reached Peebles before 
twelve. The Eector took me into his library, gave me 
one book and took another for himself, and asked me 
to read and translate. I did so. Volume after volume 
we took and read, and then he said, 'When can you 
come ? ' I told him I had a school of seventy scholars, 
and must dispose of it first, but that I would come on 
Thursday week. ' That will do/ he said, and then invited 



28 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

me to stay to dinner. I then left him and walked the 
twenty-five miles I had traversed in the morning. I 
was then nearly twenty-one years of age, and full of 
hope. I reached home about ten, as my father was 
engaged in family prayers, in which I had a large share 
After we rose from our knees, father, mother, brothers, 
and sisters, thirteen in all, surrounded me, and said 
they were glad I had returned, as they had feared I 
would go to Peebles. I told them I had been at Pee- 
bles, and was going back on Thursday week to commence 
work there. After securing a teacher for my school in 
Earlston, I began a new life. The school had forty 
boarding pupils, and nearly as many more from the 
town. Many of the boys were sons of the nobility and 
gentry, high-spirited youths, who were restive under 
control. The Eector was advanced in years, and the 
management of the boys devolved largely upon me. 
The tutor who had preceded me had left the school 
because he could not control the boys. They plagued 
him so that he sometimes told them with tears that 
they would break his heart; but there was nothing 
that they liked better than to break his heart, and his 
tears did not move them. 

" The first morning that I was in charge, the boys 
behaved in a most uproarious manner, dancing and 
shouting about the room, heedless of my commands 
for order. I took the ringleader by the collar and laid 
him prostrate on the floor, saying, c Lie there, sir, until 
Mr. Sloan comes in.' He saw that I was not to be 
trifled with, and begged to be allowed to rise. I told 
him he could do so if he was ready to behave himself, 
and he arose very meekly, and the others quietly took 
their places at their desks. "From that time I had no 
trouble in securing order. But the work was very con- 



EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY. 29 

fining, as I was with the boys almost day and night, 
sleeping in one of the dormitories. I saw the stars 
but twice that winter. We were in the school-room 
from seven to eight, from nine to twelve, from two to 
four, and from six to eight. Supper and prayers were 
before nine, when we saw the boys to their rooms. 
After supper I studied far into the night, as I had to 
prepare for the Eector's classes as well as my own, that 
I might assist the boys with their lessons. 

" In stormy weather we had to keep them within 
doors all day, and it was no easy matter to keep them 
out of mischief. The Eector never found fault with 
anything I did, always meeting me with a pleasant 
smile ; but neither did he express approval, and I feared 
I was not giving satisfaction, and I wrote home that I 
must look for employment elsewhere, as I knew I 
should not be wanted in Peebles after my year expired. 
One day the Eector said to me, ' Next year your salary 
will be forty pounds.' This was nearly double the first 
year : those were the days of small salaries. 

" At the close of my second year, I resolved to go to 
Edinburgh College. The dear old Eector entreated me 
to stay with him, said I was a better scholar than he 
was, and yet he had always been a successful teacher. 
He offered to make the terms to suit me ; but I felt the 
necessity of attending some higher classes in college, so 
I bade him an affectionate farewell. 

" The classes in Edinburgh were very full that term 
(1830). Shortly after my entrance, Professor Pillans 
called up Lubienski, a Pole, and myself, to hold a con- 
versation in Latin before the class (the educated Poles 
were taught to converse freely in Latin). He stood on 
one side of the room, and I on the other. 

" I had fortunately read a volume of colloquies by 



30 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

Corderius, and acquired some knowledge of familiar 
phrases, and therefore succeeded better than I feared ; 
but I was so frightened that I had to lay hold of a chair 
in front of me to steady myself. 

" In midwinter the parish school of Smailholm, six 
miles from my home, became vacant. I went thirty-six 
miles from Edinburgh to apply for it ; the clergyman 
knew that I was a member of the Secession Church, and 
intimated that I need not apply. I felt this deeply, and 
said to my father, ' I shall not apply for a situation in 
my own land again ; I will go to America, where my 
religious denomination will not stand in the way of my 
progress.' 

" When I returned to my classes, Professor Pillans 
read out my name at the close of the hour, and asked 
me to stay and see him. He asked me if I was going 
to Smailholm. I said, ' No.' ' What was the matter ? 
I was sure you would get it.' I told him I was not 
even allowed to apply, because I was a dissenter. 
' I am glad of it,' said he. ' I have received a letter 
from Lord Althorp, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
asking me to send him a tutor for his son, and I will 
send you. He is to cruise two years in the Mediter- 
ranean ; will visit Italy, Egypt, the Holy Land, Greece, 
and other parts. It will make a man of you.' I told 
him that if I had known it three days before I should 
have accepted, but now my mind was made up ; I was 
going to America ; that my father had eleven children, 
and I wanted to prepare the way for them. He said 
to me, ■ If I were not too old, I would go to America 
also. It is the place for young men. I am acquainted 
with the good old Quaker, Dr. Griscom, who is at the 
head of the High School in New York, and I will 
give you a letter to him that may help you.' That 



LEAVING SCOTLAND. 31 

letter and several others he gave me did me great 
good. 

" A few days later, I was again asked to stay after 
class, and Professor Pillans told me that the rector of 
an academy in the Isle of Man had died, and he 
would recommend me to the place if I wished ; but I 
declined." 

It may be added here, that many of the letters of 
recommendation received by Mr. Carter at this time are 
still extant, and all speak in the highest terms of his 
scholarship and character. There is no faint praise. 
The Edinburgh professors, Mr. Sloan of Peebles, and 
his clergyman in Earlston, all express unmeasured 
commendation. Professor Pillans in one letter speaks 
of his "perfect regularity and uniformly correct and 
exemplary deportment," and adds, that " he had acquitted 
himself remarkably well in public examinations, and 
gave proofs of great industry and proficiency." In 
another he says, " It gives me much pleasure to state 
that he has throughout distinguished himself as one of 
the ablest and most diligent of my pupils." 

From Mr. Sloan and the clergyman of Peebles came 
letters of the most cordial praise, and it was added, 
" He is much beloved by the boys under his charge, 
which I consider no small recommendation in a 
teacher." 



CHAPTER II. 

" TN March, 1831, I engaged my passage in the ship 
A ' Francis,' that was to sail from Greenock on the 
4th of April. I left Edinburgh, and went to bid adieu 
to my native village. The voyage was a very different 
thing then from what it is now. The Atlantic seemed 
wider ; the new land less known. 

" One good woman took me aside, and kindly urged 
me to take a wife with me to America. ' Ye 11 get 
naething there but a Yankee, and they 're a' black.' The 
separation from home and friends was most trying. 

" At six o'clock in the morning of my departure, 
about thirty acquaintances and friends assembled in 
my home, and many of them were deeply affected. 
As I arose to go, my mother, who had embraced me 
most tenderly, fainted and fell on the sofa. My friends 
said, ' You had better go now before she returns to 
consciousness.' My father and many friends accom- 
panied me. They dropped off two by two, till, after 
walking ten miles, my father and a very dear friend 
alone were left. We parted in silence. I gazed after 
them till they reached the top of a little hill, and grad- 
ually disappeared from view. I then sat down by the 
silvery Tweed and gave full vent to my feelings. I was 
alone with God. In a more fervent prayer than per- 
haps I had ever offered before, I commended myself and 
my father's family to His keeping, washed my face in 



INCIDENTS OF THE VOYAGE. 33 

the Tweed, wiped my face with iny handkerchief, and 
went on my way. In the afternoon I reached Peebles, 
where I met with a warm reception from my dear 
friends, and the following day went to Edinburgh, and 
from there to Greenock. There was no one on board 
the ' Francis ' whom I knew, save one, a gardener, 
Richard Davidson, eight years older than I, who had 
attended a prayer -meeting with me in my native vil- 
lage, and was very dear to me. We left Greenock on 
Monday, the 4th of April ; my friend had his father 
and mother and two sisters with him. There was an 
excellent family of five, the Ainslees, nearly related to 
him, who formed a circle of friends that showed me 
great kindness. 

"On the first Sabbath morning, my friend said to 
me, ' There are many pious people on board, but there 
is no clergyman. We ought to have a service, and 
you must take the lead.' I remonstrated, but there 
was no one else, and he insisted on my opening the 
meeting with prayer, after singing a psalm. In the 
prayer I felt that we were alone with God. All 
around me seemed to have the same feeling, and there 
was a Bochim. God was there of a truth ; we then 
read a lecture on the Acts by Dr. John Dick, of Glas- 
gow, and my friend closed with prayer and singing. 
We were six weeks on the voyage, and each Sabbath 
had a similar service. I had reason to believe that 
some were born again on board. 

" Captain Peck, who was the principal owner of the 
ship, took me aside before we landed, and said : ' This 
is one of the most pleasant voyages I ever made, and 
I attribute it in great part to your influence. If I 
can do you any service, I will be glad to do it.' I 
held him to his word. Before a year had passed, I went 

3 



34 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

to him and told him I wanted to bring out my father 
and family, twelve in all, and I would pay him when 
they landed. * I will gladly do it for you/ he said, 
' though I have always insisted on payment in advance.' 
I saved enough the first year to pay for all, and the 
same week, one year later, they were all with me in 
New York." 

Mr. Carter never lost sight of his fellow passengers 
of the " Francis." Many of them were his lifelong 
friends. One of them was a little boy of five or six 
years, of whom he made quite a pet, and who used to 
walk the deck with him, holding his hand. This little 
George Ainslee grew up into a noble, self-sacrificing 
man, a devoted missionary to the Indians, and, when 
his mission was broken up by the war, becoming an 
equally devoted minister of the Presbyterian Home 
Mission Board. 

Mr. Carter used often to relate an amusing incident 
of the voyage. To beguile the monotony of sea life, the 
young men formed a debating society, and were one 
day assembled near the bulwarks, when suddenly there 
came a cry from the other side of the ship, "Richard ! 
Richard ! " and, looking across, they saw an old wo- 
man clinging to a rope that hung from the rigging. 
" Something is the matter with your mother, Richard." 
The young man crossed to inquire into the difficulty. 
" What 's the matter, mother ? " " 0, they 're a' gaun to 
the one side of the ship, and it is going to coup [upset], 
and I 'm just haudin' doon wi' a' my micht." It was irre- 
sistibly comic, the idea of the frail little woman, weigh- 
ing perhaps ninety pounds, holding down the great ship, 
and the laughter that ensued broke up the debating 
society for that day. 

Many of that little company of Scottish emigrants 



PASSENGERS ON THE "FRANCIS." 35 

sought homes near together in Saratoga County, New- 
York, where they formed a little colony, following 
their old customs, and had a flourishing church where 
their beloved Scotch version of the Psalms was sung. 
Thither Mr. Carter took his father's family in the fol- 
lowing year, when they came to America. The older 
people always clung lovingly to the memories of their 
home beyond the water, and always maintained that 
there was nothing in America that was quite equal 
to what they had in Scotland, "unless it were the 
moon." 

The sole male survivor of Mr. Carter's fellow voy- 
agers on the " Francis " is Mr. Eichard Davidson, who 
settled in Troy, New York, and opened a classical 
school there. They had occasional affectionate inter- 
course in after life, never losing sight of each other. 
In the last year of Mr. Carter's life this old friend vis- 
ited him. Mr. Davidson was at the advanced age of 
eighty-nine, but, though bowed under the weight of 
years, his mental powers were clear and vigorous. 
He writes : — 

" Mr. Carter was naturally very cheerful and happy, and 
therefore added much to our enjoyment during the long 
voyage. . . . We were both Commissioners to the General 
Assembly of the Presbyterian Church meeting in Baltimore, 
in 1872. It is customary at these gatherings to designate 
members of the Assembly to conduct religious services in 
different parts of the city on the Sabbath. When I met 
Mr. Carter on Saturday evening he with a grave counte- 
nance said, ' What do you think they are going to do with 
me 1 They are going to send me to the penitentiary.' On 
meeting him on Monday morning I remarked, 'They did 
not keep you in confinement long/ * No, I got out on 
account of good behavior.' " 



36 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

To resume Mr. Carter's narrative : — 

" When I reached New York, a city at that time 
[May 16, 1831] of two hundred thousand inhabitants, 
T did not know a person in it. There was a clergyman 
whose boys I had taught in Peebles, who had come to 
New York the preceding year. I had letters for him 
addressed to the care of a merchant at 407 Broadway. 
I went to that place, and found the owner at home. 
He told me that the minister for whom I inquired had 
gone to Washington County, N. Y., but that he would 
forward the letters to him. He asked me if I had just 
landed. I said I had. He then asked me what I 
meant to do here. I told him I was a teacher. He 
shook his head : ' Had you been a mason, or a carpenter, 
or a blacksmith, I could have got you employment at 
twelve shillings a day ; but there is no such encourage- 
ment for a schoolmaster.' I showed him some of my 
letters of introduction, and asked where I could find 
the parties addressed. He took up the letter for Dr. 
Griscom, and said, ' My son David is a pupil there, I 
will introduce you to the Doctor.' The High School 
was in Crosby Street near Grand Street. We went 
there and saw the Doctor. He was engaged with his 
class, but he took the letter, and after reading it he 
took me very affectionately by the hand and said, 1 1 
welcome thee to our country ; we greatly need such as 
thee. Come to-night at six o'clock, and take a cup of 
tea with me, and I will introduce thee to some of my 
friends.' As we came down stairs, my friend said to 
me, ' Perhaps you are going to do here after all : the 
Doctor has great influence.' I made answer, * I 've 
got to do.' 

" I had never met a member of the Society of Friends 
before, but I was impressed with the idea that I must be 



DR. GRISCOM. 37 

very punctual and exact in my dealings with them, so 
six o'clock found me walking up and down before the 
door, and just as the clock struck the hour my hand 
was on the door bell. The good Doctor had a few 
friends at table beside his own family, and he intro- 
duced me very affectionately, saying, 'This is friend 
Eobert Carter from Edinburgh. He brings letters from 
Professor Pillans. We gladly welcome him.' Never 
can I forget the kindness shown me then and always 
by this noble and generous man. 

" I had been taught in Scotland that it was good table 
manners to refuse the delicacies offered, and wait to 
be pressed before accepting ; but I found that this sys- 
tem did not obtain here, and that a dainty once refused 
was not offered again, so that, if I wanted my supper, I 
must eat what was set before me. This struck me as 
being much more sensible than our Scottish plan. The 
conversation at table was of a high order, simple, cul- 
tured, Christian. I could not have had a finer speci- 
men of an American home than this first one I entered. 
The conversation turned upon the literary institutions 
of Scotland, her eminent men, and the general diffusion 
of education among the masses of the people. On these 
subjects I was quite at home, and the circle around 
us was evidently interested in it. I have often since 
reflected, how kind and considerate he was to turn our 
attention to subjects with which he knew me to be 
familiar. After a delightful evening, I returned to my 
lodgings, and poured out my heart in gratitude to the 
Father of mercies, who had disposed strangers to take 
me so kindly by the hand. 

" A day or two later Dr. Griscom introduced me to 
the Hon. Gulian C Verplanck, and other influential 
friends. Mr. Verplanck examined me in Greek and 



38 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

Latin, and the Doctor and he gave me a letter to Profes- 
sor Anthon of Columbia College, asking him to examine 
me and report to them. When I delivered this letter, 
the Professor asked me to meet him at four o'clock at 
his house in the college building. I did so. He gave 
me one book and took another, and asked me to read 
and translate. After reading portions from the Latin 
authors, he did the same with the Greek, and ques- 
tioned me on various subjects. He was greatly pleased 
because I used the Continental method of pronuncia- 
tion taught in Edinburgh, but not yet introduced into 
this country. He then said, ' There is a highly respect- 
able academy at Jamaica in which there is a vacancy. 
I will recommend you as classical instructor if you 
would like to go there.' 

" This offer chilled my heart. I knew of no other 
Jamaica save the island in the West Indies. Several 
young men from my native village had gone there and 
had grown rich, but had become immoral and profligate. 
One of them returned home for a visit, patted me on 
the head, and said to my father, ' If you will give me 
this boy, I will make a man of him/ My dear father 
replied, ■ I would sooner lay him in the kirkyard than 
send him to Jamaica. I value the favor of God more 
than all this world can give me.' 

" I need not say that I declined the offer, and said 
I would rather take a humbler position in New York. 
He told me he thought that I was right ; that New 
York was the best place for a young man. He then 
said, ' Mr. Cairnes, a countryman of yours, who has 
been one of our teachers, has had a hemorrhage and 
will never teach again : I will give you his class in the 
Grammar School of Columbia College. Come to-mor- 
row at nine, and begin your work.' I then asked if he 



THE HIGH SCHOOL. 39 

would give me a letter to the good friends who had 
sent me to hini. He did so, sealed it up, and gave 
it to me. 1 

" I had been teaching a few days at the Grammar 
School when another professor came into my room and 
told me he wished to introduce me to a countryman of 
mine, who had two sons in the school. He took me 
into an adjoining room, and the gentleman received me 
very kindly, and invited me to tea. After tea, he pro- 
posed to give me a home at his own house on condition 
that I would aid his boys in preparing their lessons in 
the evenings. This suited my purpose, and aided me in 
bringing out my father's family. A few days later I 
was invited by Mr. Verplanck and Mr. Murray to meet 
them at four o'clock p. m. They told me that the Trus- 
tees of the High School had unanimously elected me to 
become Classical Instructor in that institution. I con- 
sulted Professor Anthon, and he said it was a better 
position than he could give me, and advised me to 
accept it. After this I recommended Messrs. Chisholm, 
Penman, Henderson, and Thomson to the Grammar 
School of Columbia College, and they found employ- 
ment there. For years the school was supplied with 
young Scotchmen as teachers. 

" The High School was then on the wane, and it was 
not long till it was discontinued. Mr. E. Smith, then 
superintendent of the lower department, formed a part- 
nership with me, and we opened a school on the corner 
of Broadway and Grand Street All the pupils that 
were with me in the High School save one came there. 

1 Mr. Carter did not know the contents of this letter for many 
years, but it finally came into his possession at the death of Mr. Ver- 
planck. It was couched in the most complimentary terms as to his 
scholarship and abilities. 



40 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

I had some excellent boys, who afterwards took high 
positions in the world. One, the Hon. Schuyler Colfax, 
became Vice-President of the United States ; another, a 
general in the army ; a third, a leading financier of 
New York ; a fourth, a prominent clergyman in this 
city : and others became useful and honored men." 

Mr. Carter was through life remarkable for his social 
qualities ; he was interested in others, and expected 
them to be interested in him, and his expectation was 
almost invariably realized. The friendly hand that he 
so frankly extended to others received a cordial grasp 
in return. " He that hath friends, must show himself 
friendly." Dr. Guthrie used to say that he had noticed 
that everybody, men, women, and children, liked to be 
spoken to, and wherever he went he acted on this prin- 
ciple, and was always kindly received. Mr. Carter was 
of the same mind. The people he met on his first day 
in New York, like the passengers on the good ship 
"Francis," were his friends for life, and their children 
after them. The relationship between him and Dr. 
Griscom was like that between father and son. Most 
tender and true was his love to the man whom he es- 
teemed as his benefactor. He had a letter of introduc- 
tion from Edinburgh for the Rev. Dr. Stark, and the 
first building he entered in New York was a store, 
where he stopped to inquire for his address. The pro- 
prietor, Mr. Robert Marshall, exchanged glances with 
his young wife, to whom he had been married the week 
before, and said, " He is our pastor," and offered to go 
with him to Dr. Stark's house. When Mr. Carter lay 
on his death-bed, fifty-eight years later, this same friend 
called to see him, and as Mr. Carter took his hand in 
parting, he said to him with emotion, " This is the same 



EARLY FRIENDS IN NEW YORK. 41 

hand I clasped on my first day in America," and the 
two friends shed tears of affection together. A few 
months later Mr. Marshall followed Mr. Carter to the 
eternal city. Can we not imagine the renewed hand- 
clasping in the land where partings are no more ? 

Dr. Stark also was a warm friend as long as he lived. 
When Mr. Carter entered into business three years later, 
he said to him, " I know your capital is small. If at 
any time a few hundreds would be a help to you, I will 
gladly lend them without interest." Mr. Carter never 
required this aid, but felt himself greatly indebted to 
Dr. Stark for advice, for kindly words of encouragement 
to himself and indorsement to others. 

Often in after life Mr. Carter spoke of the solitary 
feeling that came over him as he laid his head upon his 
pillow on his first night in the New World. He re- 
membered that he was alone in this great city ; that if 
he should die that night, there would be none to mourn 
him ; that those who loved him would not know of his 
death till many weeks should pass away. Then the 
thought of the loving Father, who was as near him 
in New York as to his dear ones three thousand miles 
away, whose watchful eye never slept, and whose ten- 
der care was ever about him, comforted his drooping 
heart. It was the same thought, beautifully expressed 
by the Quaker poet, born the same year as himself, — 

" I know not where His islands lift 
Their fronded palms in air ; 
I only know I cannot drift 
Beyond His love and care." 

And so he laid him down and slept, and awaked, for 
the Lord sustained him. 

On the morning of his first Sabbath in America, he 
inquired at his boarding-house where he could find a 



42 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

Scotch church. " You mean the Scotch Church ? It is 
in Cedar Street, and Dr. McElroy is its pastor." He 
went there, and from that day till the close of his life 
it was his church home, and became dear to him as the 
apple of his eye. Dr. McElroy was then at the zenith 
of his reputation, a most earnest and eloquent preacher, 
full of zeal and fire. He preached entirely without 
notes, not even writing his sermons, but preparing them 
with extreme care, and delivering them verbatim et lit- 
eratim. Sometimes in delivery he would substitute a 
synonymous word for the one he had intended, but 
was never satisfied till he had gone back and used 
the very word he had chosen in preparation. He was 
a most tender-hearted friend, and greatly beloved in 
his congregation. 

A few Sundays later, Mr. Carter entered the Scotch 
Church Sunday school, and was soon one of the most 
active teachers, and leader of the teachers' meeting. In 
1837 he was made Superintendent, a position he filled 
for more than thirty years. In 1847 he was made an 
elder in the church. 

It was in this Sunday school that Mr. Carter first 
met her who was destined to be for more than fifty 
years his helper, tried and true, in the battle of life. 
None but himself and his children could know what 
a power was in that gentle, quiet life that was lived 
beside his, nor how strong was the influence exercised 
over him by his wife. The heart of her husband could 
safely trust in her. 

Miss Jane Thomson was the eldest daughter of Mr. 
Samuel Thomson, an old and highly respected citizen of 
New York, an active and honored elder of the Scotch 
Church. Mr. Thomson was a native of Maryland, 
whence he removed to New York in 1804. He was 



HIS MARRIAGE. 43 

of Scotch Irish descent, his ancestors coming from the 
North of Ireland to America in 1754. His father, 
Hugh Thomson, his grandfather, and his great-grand- 
father were buried in the Piney Creek Presbyterian 
Church graveyard, Taneytown, Md. He married, in 
1807, Ann, daughter of Archibald Strean, who had 
come from Belfast, Ireland, in 1798. Of this noble 
and excellent couple it may be said, " None knew 
them but to love them ; none named them but to 
praise." The family were thoroughly identified with 
the Scotch Church. As Mr. Thomson's children mar- 
ried and settled in life, the connection was continued, 
and at one time thirteen pews in that church were 
occupied by his descendants. Miss Thomson's parents 
and grandfather being members of that church, she 
was from infancy a baptized member, entered into 
full communion there, as did her children after her, 
and in all her seventy-six years she never had any 
other church home. She would not have hesitated to 
say of it, " If I forget thee, let my right hand forget 
its cunning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my 
mouth." Those who knew Miss Thomson in her youth 
loved to speak of her great beauty, and her sweet and 
winning ways. Those who only knew her when her 
benevolent face was framed by soft silvery curls can 
hardly believe that the beauty of youth exceeded that 
of age. And surely the youthful character, however 
lovely, could not have rivalled the charm that was 
brought down to a mellow old age by a life of self- 
forgetful love for others. 

Mr. Carter's love for his young bride was strong and 
ardent, and it never waned. Strangers who saw his 
active busy life, and heard his ready, outspoken utter- 
ance, may have thought that the quiet, retiring woman 



44 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

at his side was not his equal in force of character ; but 
he never thought so, nor did those who knew them best. 
She had a mind of her own, though it was very gently 
expressed. Though ever ready to yield in trifles, where 
principle was involved she was firm as a rock. To her 
was fulfilled the promise, " The meek will He guide in 
judgment." Mr. Carter was ever ready to acknowl- 
edge his indebtedness to her wisdom. All their de- 
cisions were made together, and with the most entire 
unanimity. 

They were married March 18, 1834. We may learn 
how much things have changed since those days from 
the fact that the quiet little wedding had to take place 
at six o'clock in the morning, in order that the bridal 
pair might reach Philadelphia on their wedding trip 
before night. 

We may imagine that the future prospects of the 
young couple had caused the bride's parents no little 
anxiety. Teaching is never a very lucrative business ; 
and though the school had prospered wonderfully, Mr. 
Carter's strong sense of duty to his father's family, and 
his great liberality to them, had prevented his saving 
much. He was rich only in faith, hope, energy, and 
ability. Mr. Thomson was a man of considerable means, 
but he had ten children, and could not be expected to 
do much for his daughter in his lifetime. Mrs. Thom- 
son was a woman of excellent judgment and great fer- 
tility of resource, and she suggested to her daughter, 
that, while Mr. Carter could never expect to make a 
fortune at teaching, he was a man of good business ca- 
pacity, and that he knew and loved books so well that 
he ought to make a good bookseller. This was a very 
short time before the marriage. The idea at once took 
root, and the very next morning before school Mr. Car- 



BEGINS THE BOOK BUSINESS. 45 

ter was looking about through the business portions of 
the city for a store suitable for his new venture. He 
found one on the corner of Canal and Laurens Streets, 
which he took for the 1st of April. He had saved just 
six hundred dollars, a small sum with which to launch 
out simultaneously in business and matrimony. He 
heard of an insolvent bookseller on Cortlandt Street, 
who had advertised for sale his stock in trade, and he 
went to him and offered his six hundred dollars, which 
was accepted, and he was ready to start in business as 
soon as he returned from his wedding trip. 

Mr. Thomson gave his daughter a house and furni- 
ture, and they set up their simple housekeeping. It 
took great faith and courage in the young bride, who 
had been used to comfort and luxury, to start in life 
with such indefinite prospects; but she felt her husband 
to be no ordinary man, and her confidence in him was 
not misplaced. The young people were resolved that 
nothing should ever tempt them to run in debt in the 
smallest degree, and they resolved also, that if possible 
they should lay by something every year ; and this they 
always succeeded in doing, though it required the most 
rigid economy, especially as they always extended a 
very liberal helping hand to the father's household in 
Saratoga County. Mr. Carter had one of the younger 
brothers to help him in the business, and at different 
times he had four of his brothers with him. 

The very first day his store was opened, a woman 
came in, and asked for a Bible. He showed her his 
stock, and she chose out a handsome copy, and asked 
its price. He was not yet familiar with his price list, 
and answered at random, " Seventy-five cents." " That 
is wonderfully cheap," said she, and at once paid for it. 
After she had gone, Mr. Carter looked up the list, and 



46 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

found that he had lost considerably on his bargain, but 
it always pleased him to remember that the Bible was 
the first book he ever sold. His first year of business 
yielded him a much larger return than his school had 
done, and each succeeding year proved more favorable 
than the last. 

His sturdy independence and frugal habits were im- 
portant factors in his success. One day when his assist- 
ant was very busy in the store, Mr. Carter, as he was 
going home to dinner, picked up a large package of books, 
intending to deliver them to a customer on his way. As 
he was passing through the streets, he met a young 
bookseller who had started in business about the same 
time as himself, and the young man remarked sneer- 
ingly, " Ah ! I see you are your own porter." " Yes," 
said Mr. Carter, " I am not ashamed to do any neces- 
sary work." 

Mr. Carter soon removed into a somewhat larger 
store, at the corner of Canal and Mercer Streets, and 
there began to publish books. The following account 
of these early business days was found among his 
papers : — 

"In 1836 Mr. James Lenox sent for me and gave me 
a book which he valued very much and advised me. to 
publish. I did so, and he took one hundred copies, and 
distributed them mainly among the students of Prince- 
ton Seminary. This book was Symington on the 
Atonement. I took a copy of it to some of the lead- 
ing booksellers in New York, and they told me I had 
mistaken my calling, — that this was too dry a book 
for Americans, though it might have suited the Cove- 
nanters of Scotland two hundred years ago. Not- 
withstanding this, the first edition went off, and fifteen 
hundred more were printed and sold. It was then 



SYSTEMATIC BENEVOLENCE. 47 

stereotyped, and more than six thousand have been 
circulated. 1 

"There was one element in my work as a business 
man which was of great importance to me. I had 
started with a small capital of six hundred dollars, 
and I had resolved to owe no man anything save very 
temporarily. This was of immense value to me. When 
a panic tried the strength of many around me, I had 
nothing to trouble me, and generally the panic gave 
me strength. I was ready to act as soon as it had 
passed, and felt more hopeful than before." 

He had always followed the plan of giving one tenth 
of his income to the Lord's treasury ; but of this period 
he writes : — 

" When I reached that point where I had a surplus 
above what was required for my business purposes, I 
looked around to see what use I could make of it. I 
resolved to consecrate to the Master's work as much as 
I expended on my family. This had a double blessing. 
It caused economy at home, and enabled me to use 
cheerfully for Christian work what I had thus set apart. 
A dear friend, who had broken up housekeeping on 
account of the death of her husband, offered me her 
carriage and pair of fine horses on condition that I 
would use them in my family. I told her I could 
not do that, as it might prove a snare for my chil- 

1 It may be interesting to add here, that in the last year of his life 
Mr. Carter, while visiting the Lenox Library with his grandchildren, 
inquired if there was a copy of Symington on the Atonement there. 
The book was found, and on the fly leaf was the inscription with which 
he had presented it to Mr. Lenox. It was a great gratification to him 
to see this book, which he regarded as a sort of corner stone to all his 
publications, preserved in this permanent manner in his old friend's 
library. Symington on the Atonement continued on his catalogue to 
the end of his life. 



48 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

dren, whom I was desirous to educate with simple 
tastes and for useful ends. But I advised her to sell 
them, and use the money in advancing the kingdom 
of Christ. I have reason to believe that she appro- 
priated every dollar she thus received for sacred 
purposes. 

" By this time I had learned a precious lesson, that 
the blessing of the Lord alone maketh rich, and addeth 
no sorrow. Unless the Lord build the house, they la- 
bor in vain that build it. I was taught to look up 
every day and every hour for that blessing. And 
how sweet it is to feel and to say, ' In Thee alone I put 
my trust ! ' 

"From the commencement of my work as a pub- 
lisher, I devoted my spare hours to reading books and 
manuscripts with a view to publication. I read thou- 
sands of volumes, and rejected perhaps five for one that 
I adopted. I cannot say that this was always wisely 
done, but it was a safe measure. When I had issued 
two hundred books, I examined carefully what they 
cost and what they brought, and found that there were 
only five on which I had sunk money, and the aggre- 
gate of loss was not more than two hundred dollars. 
There were at the same time not more than twenty on 
which much profit was made. Many just returned the 
investment, and little more. It required the strictest 
economy to make business prosper. But there was one 
great advantage. I gave no notes, and owed nothing, 
so that my mind was kept clear from anxiety. It was 
a delightful work. During the day I watched the cur- 
rent that was moving before me, and conversed with 
some of the best men and most ardent lovers of the 
lost whom Christ died to save. In my early years I 
owed much to Mrs. J. F. Sheaf e, a sister of Mr. Lenox. 



CAREFUL SELECTION OF BOOKS. 49 

She was fond of reading, had a clear head and a loving 
heart. She would lay aside all other work, and read 
any new book that I sent to her, and give me a distinct 
statement of her impressions of its value. There was 
scarcely any volume that she indorsed which failed to 
find a market. But as the years passed on and busi- 
ness increased, I thought I could not tax her any more. 
But she often said to me, ' It was you who gave me up, 
not I you.' " 



CHAPTER III. 

MR. CARTER'S eldest child was born March 29, 
1836, and was named for his grandfather, Samuel 
Thomson. He was a child of great promise, docile and 
lovable in an unusual degree. He had a quick and 
thoughtful mind, with a ready memory, which stored 
up a large number of psalms and hymns, and other 
bits of poetry. His parents afterwards felt that his 
mind had been stimulated too much, but it was such a 
pleasure to teach the bright precocious little fellow that 
it was hard to resist the temptation to give him the 
information he so eagerly sought. He lived not quite 
four years, but there are many still on earth who 
cherish lovingly the memory of the bright little boy 
who went to heaven more than fifty years ago. The 
thought of him was always a power in the family, and 
he seemed like a real living presence to the younger 
brothers and sister, most of whom had never seen him, 
and the tradition of him has been handed down to the 
next generation, who think tenderly of the little Uncle 
Samuel, who died before their parents were born. Even 
that little child, though dead half a century ago, still 
speaketh. Forty-five years after his death, his mother 
told a friend that she did not think a Sunday had 
passed since he was taken from her that she had not 
repeated to herself all the ten psalms and hymns which 
he had learned and been accustomed to recite to her on 
Sundays. His father writes of him : — 



DEATH OF HIS FIRST-BORN. 51 

" When he was three years and six months old, his 
mother and I were driving with him along a beautiful 
road in the country. We passed through a charming 
valley where the green hills bathed by the afternoon 
sun closed upon us. We gazed in silence. A sweet 
voice uttered the words : 

* As round about Jerusalem 
The mountains stand alway, 
The Lord his folk doth compass so 
From henceforth and for aye.' 

This verse from a Psalm which he had committed to 
memory he applied to the scene before us. His mother 
asked him what he was saying, and again he repeated 
the verse, waving his hand to the hills about us. 

"There was a spring in the side of a hill near to 
our country home around which there was a rustic 
seat. The dear boy was seated by me while I was 
reading one day, and, running up to me, he took me by 
the chin and said, ' Papa, will this spring flow in this 
way when you and I are dead ? ' I replied, ' Yes.' ' Our 
spirits will be in heaven then, won't they ? ' 

" I little thought that in a few months that spring 
would cease to flow, — some excavations having inter- 
fered with it, — and that before another year had come 
to us that dear boy should be with our Father in heaven. 
His death after a few months was the first and sorest 
trial of my life. In my father's family of eleven and my 
wife's family of ten there had been no death for forty 
years. We had seen death around us, but our families 
had remained unbroken. At the funeral my father-in- 
law rode in the carriage with me, and the coffin of my 
dear boy lay before us. He uncovered the glass and 
looked at the sweet face, and with streaming eyes said, 
' Who will be the next ? ' " 



52 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

A very touching little diary has been preserved, in 
which Mr. Carter had noted down the progress of 
his little boy's illness, with such comments as the 
following. 

" January 28. Hope and despair vibrating in our 
minds. Extremely wretched, — the gloomiest day we 
have had." 

"January 29. The poor dear boy sinking fast, his 
limbs wasting to a skeleton, eyes as bright as ever, — 
perfectly collected. Prayed with him several times. He 
seemed to pierce through me with his keen eyes, as if 
he understood all that was said and meant, though he 
could not speak." 

" January 30. The last and severest day of all. His 
eyes were bright as ever, but his whole powers were 
evidently giving way. Even then when I prayed with 
him he seemed intensely interested, as if he were 
aware that he was encountering the king of terrors. 
About midnight he put out his lips to kiss papa and 
mamma, and seemed to bid us a last farewell. At three 
o'clock precisely on Friday morning, the 31st of Janu- 
ary, he breathed his last, without a struggle or a groan. 
His spirit gently departed to his Father and his God. 
May his departure be blessed to his mourning friends ! 
If these things were done in the green tree, what shall 
be done in the dry ? O that we and all dear to us may 
be enabled to say, We shall go to him, but he will not 
return to us ! Go to him ! Where and what is he ? All 
glorious ! all light ! all love ! His active spirit bathes 
in the fountain of bliss. 'Alleluia!' let us hear him 
exultingly exclaim, c Alleluia ! Glory to the Lamb, who 
has washed me in his blood and presented me pure 
and spotless before his Father's throne ! ' " 

He writes again : — 



DEATH OF HIS FIRST-BORN. 53 

" The death of this loved boy taught us many useful 
lessons. I thought of a class of six children in my 
Sabbath school, and sent them a letter urging them to 
come to Christ, accompanied with a little book entitled 
' My Saviour.' Tour of the six became members of the 
church the next communion. One dear young lady 
died some years later with this book lying on her 
breast, and her thin, transparent hands pointing to the 
page which she had been reading when she breathed her 
last. A younger brother of my own, who had slept with 
the dear boy in his bosom for some years, was suddenly 
awakened to a sense of his lost condition. He was a 
bright scholar, and had become conscious of it, and proud 
of his acquirements, and sometimes questioned the wis- 
dom of God's dealings with men. When this stroke came 
upon us, he was in an agony. The dearest object of his 
love lay dead. He had witnessed the simple piety of 
the child of less than four years of age, and exclaimed, 
'Where would I have been had I been taken instead of 
him ? I had the audacity to question the goodness of God, 
and now I am lost.' His struggles were fearful, but God 
had mercy on him, and made him a burning and shining 
light in this world of darkness. An older brother, who 
had professed Christ some years before but had been 
turned about and chilled, became a new man, and gave 
bright testimony to his faith in the dear Eedeemer. In 
the Sabbath school whole classes were brought to a de- 
cision which affected all their future lives. We could 
only say, ' See what God hath wrought.' " 

Among the earliest publications of Mr. Carter were 
the writings of Miss Catharine Sinclair. She was the 
daughter of Sir John Sinclair, a leading British philan- 
thropist and voluminous writer nearly a century ago. 
He closed a long and honored life in 1835, in his eighty- 



54 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

second year. He had a numerous family, several of 
whom attained distinction. They were remarkable for 
their great stature, and he used to refer to his six 
daughters as " my thirty-six feet of daughters." Mr. 
Carter met Miss Catharine Sinclair in 1841, and said 
he was very glad when she sat down to talk to him, 
for he did not like to look up to a woman who towered 
so far above him. The following letter from her is 
interesting for its pictures of a time so long passed, and 
shows the cordial relations which subsisted from the 
very first between this publisher and his authors. 

" Your very acceptable and interesting letter reached me 
on the 12th, and I have to thank you also for a packet of 
books, among which ' Hill and Valley ' appeared as an old 
friend with a new face. The printing is so correct and the 
binding so handsome that our publishers here must really 
look to themselves to keep pace with you. I am now 
bringing out a third thousand of 'Hill and Valley,' which 
has met with exactly a similar reception to that you so 
obligingly inform me of at New York, being more approved 
of, but less sold, than the works of fiction, which are always 
more popular, so that authors are not encouraged to speak 
the truth. 

" ' Holiday House ' is already in a second edition, and I 
was greatly annoyed to perceive that Mr. W. had not suffi- 
ciently attended to my directions about forwarding the sheets 
to you, which I had trusted entirely to his doing, because as 
long as I hold a pen it will be a gratification to me that you 
should continue the office you so kindly assumed at first of 
sponsor for my works at New York. Mr. W. is now in 
London. I know that he received your letter and remit- 
tance in due course, but several of the works you ordered 
lately are out of print, as indeed many of our best standard 
authors are now, to make way for the flood of modern litera- 
ture crowding into the press every day. 



MISS CATHARINE SINCLAIR. 55 

" In divinity nothing goes off so rapidly as controversy, 
such as the Oxford Tracts, filled with disputes whether the 
clergy should turn to the south or to the north in adminis- 
tering the sacrament, and whether they should pray from a 
low stool or a reading-desk, while meanwhile the weightier 
matters of the law are neglected ; but I trust the Bible will 
assert its superiority over the rubric, and St. Paul be always 
authority. In fiction there has been a most extraordinary 
sale for Lady Lytton Bulwer's new work, ' Cheveley,' two 
editions of which were sold in London before a single copy 
has been spared to us at a distance ; therefore, I have only 
seen extracts sufficient to prove that it is flavored to the 
reigning taste with gossip and scandal, our present ministry 
and her Majesty the Queen being introduced as leading char- 
acters, and made to take a conspicuous share in the story 
and in the dialogues. It is quite a recent innovation, that of 
taking living persons and using them as puppets to play the 
game of life with, but it occasions great astonishment that 
the Queen herself has been so freely handled. Sir Lytton 
Bulwer and his lady used to write fictions in concert, but 
they have now quarrelled and have separated ; therefore she 
adopts the Tory side of politics in opposition to him, and 
wishes to show that the wit and talent of their former works 
was all her own, which has sharpened her pen considerably. 

" I should like much to see the New York Eeview which 
you mention ; and although it is an additional pleasure to 
see any of your friends who are obliging enough to bring 
me an introduction from you, yet the expense of any pack- 
age or letter is no object to me, and I hope may never 
stand in the way of my hearing from you or receiving any 
such notices of my work as might be not only interesting, 
but extremely useful as containing suggestions. 

" I propose this summer to spend some months in travel- 
ling over the most interesting parts of Scotland. Little has 
been written of a lighter kind on this romantic land, and in 
all probability I may be tempted to continue my ' Hill and 



56 LITE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

Valley ' amongst our native glens, where past and present 
times may furnish an ample field of interest. But owing 
to the advanced age and uncertain health of my mother, 
such plans must be formed with still greater uncertainty 
than attaches to all hopes and wishes we indulge in this 
world, and which can only be formed with the pleasing con- 
sciousness that they depend upon the will of One whom it is 
always our delight to trace in all we are enabled to do, and 
even in much we are hindered from doing. 

" I have often discussed with my brothers the pleasure it 
would give us at some future time to visit America, and we 
do hope at some distant period to visit our friends in New 
York, as it is scarcely a greater undertaking now than a trip 
to London formerly. 

" When my father corresponded with your illustrious 
Washington, he intended at one time to emigrate with his 
family, and had a strong partiality for that country, which 
we have all inherited, and all we read of your magnificent 
scenery and noble institutions has served to confirm our 
anticipation of pleasure in a country of such increasing 
prosperity. I therefore hope in years to come that we 
may have the pleasure of seeing you, and claiming old 
acquaintance." 

In 1841 Mr. Carter revisited his old home in Scotland, 
taking with him his wife and infant son, and his wife's 
sister. An amusing incident occurred the very day 
they landed. On the cars between Liverpool and Lon- 
don two men sat opposite them who were discussing 
America, and one of them asserted that all Americans 
were black. This aroused the combativeness of Miss 
Thomson, who was a thorough-going American, and 
taking her little nephew from the nurse's arms she ex- 
tended the fair-skinned infant towards the stranger, 
saying, " Is this child black ? " " That child never saw 
America." " He has not been in England twenty-four 



VISIT TO SCOTLAND. 57 

hours." The discomfited stranger held his peace after 
that on a subject of which he knew so little. 

A warm welcome awaited the travellers at the old 
home in Earlston. Some of the simple-hearted villagers 
had formed great ideas of the prosperity of their fellow 
townsman. His wife had some gilt buttons on one of 
her gowns, and it was whispered about that Mrs. Carter 
was so rich that she never wore anything but gold 
buttons. 

In an evil hour, many years before, Mr. Carter's 
father had become security for a friend who was a flour- 
dealer in Earlston. This man, though honest, became 
bankrupt, and old Mr. Carter was bound to pay the 
money. It was a heavy load for him to bear, and his 
son determined to pay it off while on this visit to his 
old home. He often said he had never done anything 
that gave him more pleasure. The chief creditor said, 
when the money was paid him, " This will support me 
for two years." When Mr. Carter gave his father the 
receipts, he exclaimed joyfully, " I can now depart in 
peace, for I owe no man anything." 

Suretyship has been a great stumbling-block to many 
Scotchmen, who are led into it by their strong sense of 
the obligations of friendship. Mr. Carter found his 
Cousin Thomas, to whom he owed so much of his early 
education, staggering under a similar burden. His 
father, too, had become security for a friend, and in- 
curred the obligation of the debt. The old gentleman 
had just died, and his son was overwhelmed with a 
debt which he had no means of paying, and his cred- 
itor was pressing him sorely. Mr. Carter felt that he 
owed this cousin what money could never pay, and 
gladly told him that he would make the payment for 
him. Mr. Thomas Carter was overcome with gratitude, 



58 LIFE OE ROBERT CARTER. 

and thanked his cousin with many tears. He told him 
that he had been almost on the verge of insanity ; that 
his case had seemed perfectly hopeless, and his sense of 
honor was so keen that his position was indeed galling. 
One night he had retired to his room, wound his watch 
and laid it on his dressing table, and then, sitting down, 
began to think over his trouble. All before him seemed 
dark, and he said to himself, " It is just as impossible 
for me to extricate myself from these difficulties as it 
would be for that watch to stop itself and then go on 
of its own accord." At that instant his watch, which 
had been ticking loudly, suddenly stopped. He gazed 
on it in amazement, and saw that the second hand stood 
still. He waited what seemed to him several minutes, 
and then, without his having touched it, the watch went 
on again. He felt that God had given him a sign that 
relief would come for him, and in his cousin's generous 
act he recognized the ringer of God. 

This cousin, Thomas Carter, was a man of high char- 
acter, fine abilities, and thorough scholarship, but was 
hampered through life by extreme timidity. When he 
was teaching his cousin Robert, he was a student of 
divinity in the Secession Church. He completed his 
course, but at that time the rules of his church were 
very strict against reading sermons in the pulpit. He 
might have preached if he could have had his manu- 
script before him, but his diffidence would not permit 
him to get through the service without such anchorage. 
He tried to preach without notes, but to his great mor- 
tification failed. He was obliged to give up all idea of 
the ministry, and spent his life as a parish schoolmaster. 
He doubtless felt his life was a failure. Perhaps the 
angels saw in it a higher success than they could find 
in the lives of some men who with less talent and 



D'AUBIGNE'S HISTORY OF THE REFORMATION. 59 

more assurance climbed to a prominent position in the 
world. 

The cousins were always very happy to meet on Mr. 
Robert Carter's repeated visits to Scotland. It would 
be hard to say which felt the most grateful to the other. 
One ministered to the intellectual life of his boy cousin, 
the other smoothed the declining years of him who had 
befriended him in youth. 

Mr. Carter writes of this trip to Europe and its 
results : — 

" In Edinburgh and London I formed valuable friend- 
ships, and procured books which were of great service 
to me. On my way home I read Merle d'Aubigne's 
History of the Reformation, in three volumes. I was so 
delighted with it that I said to my wife, * This will pay 
for our trip to Europe.' Immediately upon landing I put 
it into the hands of the stereotyper, and the work cre- 
ated great interest. After some time a rival edition in 
small print, double columns, was issued in Philadelphia. 
I then printed an edition in three volumes, half bound 
in cloth, for one dollar. For many months the presses 
were going night and day, and so close was the race 
that on thirty thousand sets the net gain was only two 
cents for the three volumes. But it was delightful 
work, and though there was no gain from the book it- 
self, yet I was brought favorably before the public, and 
my sales of other books were greatly increased. I pub- 
lished at this time Chalmers's Lectures on Romans, Ser- 
mons, Essays, etc. The stereotype plates of Home's 
Introduction were sold at a trade sale. I bought them 
for $3,300. This was my greatest undertaking at that 
time. The day after the sale I met Mr. John Campbell, 
the paper dealer, and he asked me how I was going to 
pay for the plates of Home. I told him I must borrow 



CO LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

the money. He said, ' I will lend it to you and leave 
you to pay it at your convenience.' I asked him what 
security he required, and he answered, 'None at all, 
not even a note.' He knew that I did not give notes, 
but paid cash for my purchases. 1 I issued this impor- 
tant work in cloth, half bound, for $3.50. It was said 
that the scholar's millennium had now come, when the 
work which had sold for $12 was reduced to $3.50." 

One of the peculiarities of Mr. Carter's business life 
was this of giving no notes. Neither would he go 
security for any one. When he took his brothers into 
partnership with him, he and they signed a written 
paper pledging themselves never to go security. This 
made it easy for them to refuse all requests of that 
kind. They could respond that they were pledged never 
to enter into any such arrangement. Another point 
upon which he was very decided was that he would 
never engage in a lawsuit. He preferred to suffer 
wrong rather than violate his peace loving principles. 
Again and again he was placed where other men 
would have gone to law, but he held to his principle, 
and was never a loser by it in the end, and sometimes 
he was a great gainer. 

But the most marked feature of Mr. Carter's busi- 
ness life was his earnest resolve that his business 
should be a direct means of serving God and doing 
good to his fellow men. He did not pursue it merely 
as a means of gaining a fortune, or even a livelihood, 
and it has been truthfully said of him, " No book ever 
issued from his press that did not contain some seed of 
divine truth." He published 

" No line which, dying, he could wish to blot." 

1 In less than six months this money was returned, and no small 
proportion of it from the earnings of the book itself. 



A CHRISTIAN PUBLISHER. 61 

In a tribute paid to the memory of Mr. Carter by 
Mr. A. D. F. Eandolph, at a meeting of the Board of 
Managers of the American Bible Society, January 2, 
1890, oocur the following words : — 

'* It is possible that the departure of our friend touches 
me more closely than any one else here. For more than 
fifty years I knew him. I see him now as when I saw him 
first ; I see him now as when I met him last. Time with its 
many changes wrought no change in his affection for me, 
brought no loss in mine for him. And yet for nearly two- 
score years our business life ran along somewhat parallel 
lines, — rival lines as some might say, — but without a sin- 
gle controversy or contention of any kind. 

". . . Here, if anywhere, I may emphasize his eminent 
service to the church and the world as a Christian publisher. 
I recall the first book that bore his honored imprint. It 
was a treatise on the doctrine of the atonement of Christ. 
Cradled in a theology as rugged as the hills under whose 
shadows he was born, our friend loved the meat of strong 
doctrine, and this first publication, on a central and funda- 
mental doctrine of the Gospel, was the keystone of the 
broad arch which he subsequently built. There was not a 
stone in it that was not a stone of truth ; yet all were not 
purely theological or controversial, while over them was 
trailed many a vine of parable and story bearing the blos- 
som and the fruit of Scripture truth. And so if his own 
theology was as rugged as his native hills, it was neither 
cold nor sterile. To it there ever came, as there always 
comes to them, the gentle rains of the spring, the fresh and 
beautiful verdure, the quickening suns of summer, and the 
full bloom of the heather. 

" I know that it has been said of him in this connection, 
that he was narrow. But he only desired, as has been said 
by another, to be as broad and as narrow as the Book of 



62 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

God. I doubt if, in all the annals of that trade of which I 
am so proud, there can be found an example of loftier devo- 
tion to a high calling, with such singleness of purpose, and 
so deep a sense of personal responsibility, as is shown in his 
history. He was indeed conspicuous for his 'plain living and 
high thinking,' and he walked ' as seeing Him who is in- 
visible.' So wherever he sent his printed page he became 
a teacher of other teachers, a comforter of sorrowing hearts, 
a minister of strength to enfeebled or doubting souls, a wise 
educator of little children, a promoter of love and faith in 
them that believe, an instructor in truth and righteousness 
to them that believed not. 

" Surely there can be no higher mission than this ; and 
this was the mission of our honored friend." 

In this connection Mr. Peter Carter writes of his 
brother : — 

u From the day he opened his store, he never had a ques- 
tion of his ultimate success, and no doubt this sanguine 
spirit helped him much in bringing about the success that 
attended his work. 

" Though a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church, his 
interest and affection were not confined to his own denomina- 
tion. His heart was large enough to take in the whole 
Evangelical Church in all its branches. 

" One day a wealthy friend called on him with a book 
which he wanted him to publish, and of which he said he 
would take one hundred copies. It was entitled, ' The 
Divine Right of Presbyterian Church Government.' 

" Mr. Carter looked at it a moment, and said, ■ As I read 
the Acts of the Apostles, I think the Presbyterian form is a 
little the nearest to that inspired record, but I don't believe 
that any one form has a divine right,' and he would not 
publish the book. 

"On another occasion a gentleman brought him a little 
volume to publish that had had a large sale in a Western 



D'AUBIGNE ON THE MISSISSIPPI. 63 

city, on l The Difficulties of Arrainian Methodism.' Mr. 
Carter said, ' No, I cannot publish it. Pulling down may be 
necessary ; but I did not go into business to do that, but to 
build up Christ's Church as far as in my power.' " 

In connection with the publication of the History of 
the Reformation, Mr. Carter used often to relate the fol- 
lowing incident. He had gone West to attend a meet- 
ing of the General Assembly, and on his voyage down the 
Mississippi the steamboat struck on a snag, and was so 
badly injured that they had to wait several days at a 
little river-side town for repairs. This with the time 
usually occupied by the passage made the voyage quite 
a long one, and the passengers became very well ac- 
quainted, many of them also being delegates to the 
Assembly. He had a copy of the History with him, 
and it was proposed that it should be read aloud, and 
accordingly there was a large circle of interested listen- 
ers. Among the rest was a lady of great refinement, 
dressed in deep mourning, who seemed to enjoy the 
book as much as any one. One day during their deten- 
tion a large party went on shore for a walk, and this 
lady fell into conversation with Mr. Carter, and told 
him that she was a Eomanist. She belonged to a 
wealthy and influential family in Pennsylvania, but 
her home was a very worldly one, and she was brought 
up with little thought or care for religion. When a 
young girl she was sent to a convent school. She said 
she had never seen vital piety till she saw it in those 
nuns, and she was so impressed with their holy, self- 
denying lives that she had made their religion hers. 
She seemed a lovely Christian woman, looking only to 
Christ as her Lord and Saviour. Mr. Carter said, " I 
am surprised that you should come daily to listen to 



64 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

D'Aubigne\ Surely you hear much that is repugnant 
to your feelings." "I have been greatly interested," 
said she ; " the Church had fallen into a very low and 
corrupt state, and needed purification. The Eefor- 
mation was a great blessing to it, and it has felt the 
benefit ever since." 

On another Western journey Mr. Carter met with a 
lady, who rather attached herself to the ladies of his 
party, sitting with them on deck, and joining in con- 
versation. One evening she complained of the cold, 
and requested Mr. Carter to ask her husband to get her a 
shawl. " I did not know your husband was with you." 
She described his appearance, and said he was in the 
saloon. Mr. Carter found him gambling with some 
other men, and told him that his wife wanted a shawl. 
" I can't be bothered to get it now. She won't suffer." 
The man never came near his young wife till they were 
about to disembark and go with the rest of the passen- 
gers to a hotel for the night. The next afternoon the 
lady was sitting with Mr. Carter's party in the hotel 
parlor when he came to summon them to go to the 
train. When they arose, she rose too as if to accom- 
pany them. He said to her, " I met your husband just 
now, Madam, and he said you were not going." She 
turned deadly pale, and sat down again, but just as the 
train was starting the young couple came hurriedly 
along, and got on the next car. Something in their 
appearance struck Mr. Carter, and he went in to look 
for them after travelling some miles, but they were 
gone. He asked the conductor if he knew what had 
become of them, and was told that they had no money, 
and he had put them off the car. Some years after- 
wards Mr. Carter was relating this incident on an 
ocean steamer, when a lady, greatly interested, inquired 



DEATH OF HIS FATHER. 65 

the date and place. He told her, and she said to him : 
" I can tell you what became of those young people. She 
was the daughter of respectable parents in Michigan, 
but married this young man, who was almost a stranger, 
against the wishes of her friends. They had been mar- 
ried but a few days when you saw them. He proved 
to be a professional gambler, and on that steamer and 
in that hotel lost every cent of his money and hers. 
When he was put off the train in the darkness that 
night, he drew out a revolver and shot his brains out, 
and in the morning his bride was found sitting alone 
on the prairie, with her husband's head in her lap. 
The poor young creature was taken back to her friends 
in Michigan." 

Mr. Carter's father died, May 2, 1844, twelve years 
after coming to America. His sturdy Scotch character 
had won for him a place in the farming community in 
which he lived, in Saratoga County, New York. He 
was an active member of church and Sunday school, an 
ardent advocate of total abstinence and antislavery, for 
which causes he was ever ready to speak in public and 
private, — ready to run risks too, for in the days of the 
Fugitive Slave Law he was a conductor on the Under- 
ground Eailway. In this connection, his son Walter 
relates the following incident: — 

" One stormy winter morning, soon after the passing of the 
Fugitive Slave Law, enacting severe penalties for harboring a 
fugitive slave, as we knelt at worship in the old farm-house, 
a soft knock was heard at the door. It was gently opened, 
while the solemn prayer went on. As we rose from our 
knees, we saw a large negro, shabbily dressed and covered 
with snow, standing by the door. He looked at father, as if 
asking protection, and was welcomed to the fire. He took 
his seat at the table, and ate like one famished. After a 

5 



66 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

brief whispered conversation, father told me to harness the 
fast mare to the sleigh, and both started northward. The rest 
of the family went to church, and late at night the wearied 
horse and the tired driver returned. As the family gathered 
around him, he explained that nothing but a case of neces- 
sity and mercy would have taken him on such a journey on 
the Sabbath day ; but the poor runaway slave had for two 
days hardly tasted food, sleeping in barns, and fearing to tell 
his story to some enemy, who might betray him to his mas- 
ter. He was overjoyed to find a friend ready and willing 
to help, and our sleigh took him to the house of another 
friend, who took him farther on his journey. In conclu- 
sion, my father said, ' This government has a fearful record 
to meet some day from its treatment of the Indian and 
the negro, and if ever you can do a kind service to the red 
man or the black man, be sure to do it, lest you share in 
the condemnation and the punishment.' " 

Mr. Thomas Carter's total abstinence teachings bore 
fruit in his own family. He had eleven children and 
over fifty grandchildren, and as many great-grandchil- 
dren, and it is believed that not one of the number ever 
used intoxicating drink. 

He was deeply interested in his son's publications, 
and read them carefully and with delight. He felt the 
deep responsibility of a religious publisher. On one 
occasion he came to New York for his annual visit just 
after his son had published " Lights and Shadows of 
Scottish Life," by Prof. John Wilson, who wrote under 
the nom de plume of Christopher North. The old gen- 
tleman said to his son, " I am sorry to hear you ve been 
publishing a novel," accenting in his Scottish dialect 
the last syllable. Mr. Carter in vain tried to defend 
himself by speaking of the purity and elegant style of 
what was indeed a classic work ; but his father would 



INTEREST IN FOREIGN MISSIONS. 67 

not be mollified, insisting that novels were very dan- 
gerous reading. 

That night, after tea, Mr. Carter took a book, saying, 
" Father, here is something I want to read to you," and 
read aloud the story of " The Elder's Deathbed." The 
old man listened, with tears rolling down his cheeks. 

" Eh, Bobert, that 's a graund buik. Where did ye 
get it?" 

Mr. Carter told him that he had been reading from 
the novel that had been so severely denounced in the 
morning. 

" I didna ken it was such a buik as yon. Ye maun 
gie me some for the neebors at hame." 

There was no work which so thoroughly enlisted 
Mr. Carter's interest through life as that of Foreign 
Missions. Eev. Dr. Ellenwood, Secretary of the Pres- 
byterian Board, thus writes of him after his death : — 

" Upon the assumption of the work of foreign missions by 
the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, in 1837, 
and its establishment in New York, Mr. Carter took a deep 
interest in its success. Six years later, at the age of thirty- 
six, he was elected a member of the Board, and in 1847 a 
member of its executive committee. 

"Through all his long connection with the Board, Mr. 
Carter was earnestly seconded in his missionary spirit, in 
his prayers and efforts, by his wife, whose death preceded 
his only by two and a half years. When the ' Missionary 
Chronicle,' the predecessor of the 'Foreign Missionary,' was 
first issued in New York, it was published by Mr. Carter at 
the slightest possible expense to the Board. It was printed 
under his direction, his wife making the paste with which 
the covers were put on, and the city distribution was per- 
formed by a younger brother, who bore them from house to 
house. It is easy to see from this simple incident that Mr. 



6S LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

Carter's relation to the work of foreign missions was no per- 
functory affair, but that his labor for this great cause was 
performed so lovingly that the magnetism of his spirit 
moulded his whole household. The cause was taken home 
to the fireside, and the family altar, and the closet. One 
of the last acts of his life was the making of arrangements 
for the annual gift for foreign missions. 

" Though he continued in the Board of Foreign Missions 
to the age of eighty-two, yet the spirit which favored pro- 
gress on the one hand and conciliation and forbearance on 
the other characterized his whole course. As a rule, he 
voted for every wise measure of progress. There was a 
bright and hopeful energy in his mind, even to fourscore 
years. He was not bouud to the past. He expected pro- 
gress as he had earnestly prayed for it. He realized that 
many of the old moulds and measurements must be out- 
grown. He only feared lest his declining powers might not 
be able to keep pace with an ever advancing work." 

His connection with the Board brought him into 
intimate fellowship not only with some of the most 
excellent and eminent of the clergymen of New York, 
but with such laymen as Messrs. Lenox, Stuart, Dodge, 
and Booth, for whom he felt the most affectionate esteem. 
The Board meetings were a great delight to him, and the 
Secretaries among his most beloved friends. Of all 
these noble men there was none whom he held in such 
affectionate respect as the Hon. Walter Lowrie, whom 
he regarded as one of the most wonderful men of our 
country and our Church. This remarkable man, after 
serving six years as United States Senator contem- 
poraneously with Webster, Clay, and Calhoun, was made 
Secretary of the Senate, and held the office for twelve 
years. Owing to the peculiarly delicate nature of this 
office, and the responsibility connected with it, it did 



HON. WALTER LOWRIE. 69 

not change incumbents with successive administrations, 
and he might have enjoyed its honors and emoluments 
for life, as did his predecessors. Many a rising lawyer 
would have preferred this post to the Presidency. But 
when called to be Corresponding Secretary of the Board 
of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, he gave 
up all hopes of worldly distinction, and devoted himself 
to a life of most faithful and self-denying labor. When 
asked why he had given up a post so honorable and 
so lucrative, he answered that he " chose the place in 
which there would be the most sacrifice and the best 
prospect of usefulness for Christ." 

Mr. Carter writes of him : — 

" There was another friend to whom I owed much, 
the Hon. Walter Lowrie. When he came to New York, 
in 1837, 1 was glad to welcome him. I was then poor, 
and could contribute little to the cause of Foreign Mis- 
sions ; but it gave me great pleasure to aid him in any 
way I could to commence his blessed work. He had 
resigned a high position in Congress to devote his life 
to the work of our blessed Lord in foreign lands. He 
sent one son to India, another to China, and when the 
latter was murdered by pirates in the China Seas, he 
sent a second son there. I remember well the morning 
when the tidings came that Walter, a most promising 
missionary, had gone to visit Bishop Boone to confer 
with him on the translation of the Bible into Chinese. 
On his return a piratical band attacked the ship in 
which he sailed. Walter was reading his Bible on 
deck. They seized him and cast him overboard. He 
sank and rose again more than once, and then sank to 
rise no more. The ripe scholar, the devoted missionary, 
the eloquent preacher, was no more on earth. When 
the letter was read before our Board, we sat in silence, 



70 LITE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

his bereaved father and brother being of our number. 
It was the severest blow we had ever received. We 
were dumb ; we opened not our mouths, because God 
did it. After some time, one of our number led in 
prayer, and we adjourned. This was a baptism for us 
all, and brought a new consecration. A third son went 
to China, to carry on the work his noble brother had 
so auspiciously begun. He worked faithfully till the 
Master called him up higher. His widow and two 
children are our missionaries now at the same post. 

" When the good old father grew feeble, he declined 
to receive any salary for his service. As we insisted on 
his taking it, he received the money and put it into the 
treasury of the Board. While he was contributing 
liberally to the mission work, he lived in Quaker sim- 
plicity. The tax-gatherer called and examined his 
furniture, and said, ' I shall put you down for $3,000.' 
* On what do you base your estimate ? ' said Mr. Lowrie. 
' On what I see of your furniture.' c You may have it all 
for $600.' There was no more said about taxes. He 
was a living epistle, known and read of all men. His 
eldest son, Eev. John C. Lowrie, D.D., after half a cen- 
tury of service abroad and at home, still lives and labors 
in the Mission cause, as one of our Secretaries." 

Of another old friend Mr. Carter gives the following 
reminiscences : — 

" Mr. William Steel, an elder in the Canal Street 
Church, a plain, unpretending man, a close student of 
the Bible, was a constant visitor for many years. His 
conversation was to me most instructive. One day he 
was sitting in my store reading a book, when a tall, 
stately gentleman entered and took me back to the rear 
of my store. He asked me if I knew that man. I told 
him I did. 'He is the meanest man I know,' said he. 



MR. WILLIAM STEEL. 71 

' He has worn that cloak eleven years. He retired from 
business with a handsome property, and he is so miserly 
that he cannot take the use of it.' I replied, ' That man 
visits the widow and the fatherless, and supplies their 
need. He goes to the Mission House and leaves fifty 
or a hundred dollars, but his name never appears. The 
gifts of a " Friend of Missions " are very frequent. He 
is the best model of a Presbyterian elder I know/ 

" I missed Mr. Steel for a few days, and when he 
came back he said to me, 'I have received a precious 
lesson since I saw you last. One evening I had made 
some calls, and returning hung my hat and cloak on 
the stand in the hall and went into the parlor. Without 
any warning, I fell unconscious on the floor. My family 
procured medical assistance, and after some time I be- 
came conscious and revived. I was apparently dead 
without tasting of death. For many years I had been 
subject to bondage through fear of death, and the dear 
Lord has taught me now that I need not fear any more.' 

"When Mr. Steel was more than eighty years old, his 
old partner came to spend the day with him. They had 
sweet communing, and on parting the two stood in front 
of the house at sunset and bade each other farewell. Mr. 
Steel returned to his parlor, and fell down unconscious. 
He was not, for God took him. How often his instruct- 
ive remarks have helped me onward ! One little inci- 
dent which he related to me I may mention : ' When I 
was a young man, about the beginning of this century, 
I lived in New Jersey. The yellow-fever broke out in 
New York, and I came to the city to visit a very dear 
friend. He was attacked by the fever. In the even- 
ing I walked along Beekman Street till I came to the 
Brick Church. I heard singing, and went in to the 
lecture-room. They sang the ninety-first Psalm. It 



72 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

deeply affected me. I returned to my friend, and 
watched by him all night. I committed that psalm to 
memory that night, and felt that plague and pestilence 
were no more to be dreaded.' 

"Among those whom I met shortly after I came to 
New York were two brothers, E. L. and Alexander 
Stuart, the one older, the other younger, than myself. 
They began to give small subscriptions to benevolent 
work, which increased with increasing prosperity= They 
first gave hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thou- 
sands, and at last hundreds of thousands. For many 
years the elder brother spent the Monday mornings 
with me at the Mission House. He and Mr. Lenox 
were most conscientious in their attendance there, and 
they were the most liberal contributors. I watched 
their course from year to year, and it was onward and 
upward. It was no small privilege to me to witness 
how readily they gave their time and their money to 
send the Gospel to the ends of the earth. I was often 
tempted to exclaim, 

' Search we the land of living men, 
We ne'er shall see their like again.' " 

When Mr. Carter was nearly eighty years of age, he 
called one day on Mrs. E. L. Stuart, and she drew from 
a desk an old document which she handed to him. It 
was a call for the first meeting to discuss the propriety 
of forming a Board of Foreign Missions, and was signed 
by some of the most prominent clergymen and laymen 
of the church in New York, not one of whom is now 
living. Mrs. Stuart said that her husband had gone to 
that meeting, and in the enthusiasm of his heart had 
pledged himself to give five hundred dollars to the 
cause. When he came home, his mother and his brother 
Alexander were full of consternation, and asked him if 



LOVE FOR MISSIONARIES. 73 

he expected to end his days in the poorhouse, since he 
squandered his money in that way. " Ah ! " said Mr. 
Carter, " how little he foresaw that the time was com- 
ing when Eobert and Alexander Stuart would give 
habitually fifty thousand a year to Foreign Missions 
and fifty thousand to Home Missions ! " Truly he that 
is faithful in that which is least will be faithful also in 
much when the opportunity comes. 

Mr. Carter's love for missions was shown, not only in 
his regular attendance at the Mission Eooms and his 
large contributions to the work, but in his personal in- 
terest in missionaries. They were ever welcome in his 
home, and honored guests there ; his children were 
taught to reverence them as those who had forsaken all 
to follow Christ, and his ready sympathy went forth to 
special cases of need. Weary workers were sent by him 
to the seaside, or to sanitariums, medical attendance pro- 
vided, and books given. It would be hard to say how 
many channels his benevolence found. One of the 
most prominent missionaries of the Presbyterian Board 
wrote him : " When you think of me as working here, 
then regard yourself as partner with me, as you aided in 
the building up of my strength and recruiting me for 
this service. In a larger sense, you are a partner in all 
our labors, since you uphold us by your gifts and coun- 
sels and prayers." 

In 1843, Mr. Carter was greatly interested for the 
Free Church of Scotland, which had just come out from 
the Establishment. Much sympathy was felt for the 
four hundred and seventy-four ministers who had left 
their churches and manses for conscience' sake, and 
were thrown with their families upon the world. The 
Scotch Church, then in Grand Street, was especially in- 
terested for their countrymen, although it is said that a 



74 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

smile rippled over the congregation when Dr. McElroy 
announced from the pulpit that the Rev. Messrs. Begg 
and Eobb were coming as a deputation from Scotland 
to tell the story of the disruption to their brethren in 
America. Dr. William Cunningham of Edinburgh came 
over at this time (1843), and Mr. Carter had a very 
pleasant and cordial friendship with him then, and 
afterwards in Scotland. 

Mr. R. L. Stuart and Mr. Carter were appointed a 
committee to collect money, and have it ready when the 
Scotch delegation called for it. Mr. Carter subscribed 
two hundred and fifty dollars, — a large sum for him at 
that time. One of the elders, an excellent man, but 
with a good deal of the proverbial Scottish carefulness, 
came to his store to remonstrate with him for his prod- 
igality. He told him that he had been very success- 
ful for a young man so short a time in business, but 
that such want of prudence would inevitably result in 
failure. The old gentleman had asked, when he came 
in, for a cedar lead-pencil, price six cents ; and as he 
talked he was busily engaged in cutting it in halves. 
When the work was done, he held out the two pieces to 
Mr. Carter, saying, " Take whichever you like, and I '11 
give you the three cents for the other half." To the 
end of his life, Mr. Carter had an occasional laugh over 
this object lesson in frugality. 

Another member of the church was the possessor of 
a large fortune won by his own exertions. He was a 
good man, but it was sometimes hard for him to part 
with the money which was the fruit of so much toil 
and self-denial. His wife always co-operated with Mr. 
Carter in his efforts to make her husband see his duty 
in the matter of giving, and would add her persuasions 
to his. One time a large sum of money was needed for 



ELDERS IN THE SCOTCH CHURCH. 75 

some church repairs, and Mr. Carter tried in vain to 
get his friend to subscribe the same amount that he 
himself intended giving. After a long conversation, he 
was obliged to go away repulsed. On reaching home, 
he thought the matter over, and sat down and wrote a 
note to his friend, saying that he feared he had said too 
much in the way of urging, and if so he asked forgive- 
ness, and hoped that nothing he had said would weaken 
the strong bond of friendship that united them. Im- 
mediately on receiving the letter, the gentleman came 
to him, saying, " I believe you were right and I wrong, 
after all. How much do you think I ought to give ? " 
And he immediately wrote a check for the desired 
amount. 

Mr. Carter loved to tell a story of one of the elders 
of the Scotch Church, who came to New York a poor 
boy, and, when he had earned ten dollars by wheeling 
goods in a barrow, attended one evening a meeting of 
the church called to pay off a debt. When subscrip- 
tions were asked for, the lad gave five dollars, which in 
after life he declared to be the largest gift he had ever 
made, being one half of his earthly possessions. This 
good man afterwards amassed quite a fortune, but a 
large portion of it was swept away in a fire. Shortly 
after, Dr. McElroy was going about, as was his yearly 
custom, collecting money for the various church chari- 
ties, but he passed Mr. E 's door, thinking that he 

would spare him the pain of refusing his usual gifts. 

Mr. E met him on the street, and said, " You have 

not called on me yet for my subscriptions." " No," 
said the Doctor, " I had not the heart to ask you, know- 
ing how heavy your losses have been." " Eetrenchment 
with me must not begin at the house of God. I shall 
double my subscriptions this year." 



76 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

A wealthy member of the church said to Mr. Carter 
that he wanted to give systematically to the cause of 
Christ, but had not confidence in his own judgment 
as to apportionment, and he wished that, whenever Mr. 
Carter gave to any object, he would give a correspond- 
ing sum for him. Mr. Carter advised him to study the 
subject for himself, that he might give intelligently as 
well as systematically ; adding that he would willingly 
aid him with his counsel whenever he wished. 

A wealthy and eccentric gentleman, of great lib- 
erality, who was constantly applied to by sharpers 
for money, once asked Mr. Carter to be his almoner, 
because he felt sure that his gifts would be wisely 
applied ; but he declined the responsibility, saying that 
the use of money was a talent for which every one 
must give an account for himself to God. This same 
gentleman arose to speak at an anniversary meeting of 
the American Bible Society. A friend sitting beside 
Mr. Carter on the platform said, " Do stop him. You 
are the only one who has influence with him, and he is 
so peculiar he may say something that will spoil the 
meeting." Mr. Carter declined to interfere, very hap- 
pily as it turned out, for the gentleman only spoke long 
enough to say that he was so impressed with the im- 
portance of the work of the Bible Society that he had 
determined to give ten thousand dollars to the cause. 
Mr. Carter turned to his friend, and said, " Was it not 
well to let him go on ? " 



CHAPTEE IV. 

IN the summer of 1846, Mr. Carter again went to 
Europe, taking with him his wife and eldest son, 
a child of eight years, and his infant daughter. 

" In that second visit, I met many men in Scotland 
and England who did me much good. It was the last 
year of Dr. Chalmers's life, and I was touched by his 
kind reception of me. He inquired particularly about 
the working of the voluntary system in America, and 
expressed his pleasure at meeting me. ' We have cor- 
responded for many years, and it is well to meet,' he 
said. I told him how Mr. E. L. Stuart and I had gone 
from house to house and solicited aid for the Free Church. 
I can never forget the childlike simplicity and humble 
bearing of the man whom I had so long revered. I met 
Dr. Guthrie too at that time, and it was the beginning 
of many years of pleasant intercourse. Dr. John Brown 
and Dr. Norman McLeod showed me no little kindness. 
In England I attended the first great meeting of Evan- 
gelical Clergymen at the Alliance, where I met Edward 
Bickersteth, Baptist Noel, Tholuck, and many others. 
In the list of American delegates republished recently, 
Charles Butler was the only one that remained with 
me. Joseph died, and his brethren, and all that gen- 
eration." 

The little party returned to America on the " Great 
Western," Captain Matthews, sailing September 12. 



78 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

There were a great number of clergymen on board who 
were returning from the meeting of the Alliance. The 
voyage began under the brightest auspices, but on the 
afternoon of Saturday, September 19, the ship encoun- 
tered a terrible storm, which lasted for thirty-six hours, 
during which period little hope was entertained that 
the vessel could ever reach land. The captain himself 
wrote, " It is to Divine Providence alone that we are all 
indebted for our safety, for during my long experience 
at sea I never witnessed so severe a storm ; and were it 
not for the good qualities of my noble ship, under the 
direction of God, she could not have weathered it." 
When the danger had all passed, the captain said to 
one of the passengers, " Thrice on deck I thought de- 
struction inevitable. Each time a sea of such magni- 
tude and power came at the ship that I thought it was 
all over with us. But unexpectedly each broke just at 
the side of the ship. Sir, the hand of the Lord was 
in it." 

A narrative of the voyage, prepared by one of the 
passengers was afterwards published by Mr. Carter. 
The little book was entitled " God in the Storm." 
During the storm, the passengers met more than once 
in the cabin for united prayer, although the condi- 
tion of the ship was such that it was almost impos- 
sible to move about, and there were no meals served, 
" the stewards bringing such articles of food as were 
most convenient to those who felt any disposition to 
eat." As soon as the danger was over, and the ele- 
ments were sufficiently quiet, although "they were still 
tossed about like a feather in the wind," on the morn- 
ing of Tuesday, the 2 2d, the passengers assembled in 
the main saloon, " to offer thanksgivings to God for 
their preservation through the recent protracted storm." 



THE "GREAT WESTERN" IN A STORM. 79 

At this meeting, an address was delivered by the Kev. 
Lyman Beecher, D.D. From this, a few extracts are 
culled, describing the danger. 

lt For thirty-six hours the wind raved, and the waves 
rolled with a fury and power unknown, for so long a time, 
to the most experienced navigators on board. Travelling 
mountains, with the power of the iceberg, the avalanche, 
or the Niagara, for one day and two nights, as far as eye 
could reach, covered the surface of the deep, thundering 
loud and unceasingly around us. The onset commenced on 
Saturday night, and raged increasingly till Sabbath morn- 
ing, when, instead of mitigation, it gathered new power, 
and then commenced the work of desolation. 

" The sails on the fore-yards, clewed down, burst from 
their fastenings, and roared and flapped furiously, defying 
control. In the mean time, the sea rose rapidly, breaking 
over and against the ship. At 4 p. m. the wind had risen to 
a hurricane, veering to the northwest ; the ship at the same 
time broke from her course into the trough of the sea, — a 
condition of extreme peril, during which a sea broke in upon 
the main deck, and drove a great quantity of water into the 
engine-room, a stroke at the heart of life, our machinery. 

"At 11 a. m. a heavy wave broke over the fore part of 
the starboard wheelhouse, and drove the iron lifeboat and the 
icehouse, of some six or seven tons, furiously against the 
wheelhouse and side of the ship ; and before they could be 
fastened, the careening of the ship sent them sundry times 
back and forth, threatening instant destruction. Such and 
so rapid were the successions of disaster, that an attempt 
was made to wear ship, as less perilous than her present 
condition ; but finding her uncontrollable, she was permitted 
to return to her course. 

" About noon, a mighty wave struck the starboard wheel- 
house and tore up the fastenings of spikes and iron bands 
and bolts, throwing off the whole top and outside covering, 



80 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

breaking the under half of the spring beam, and shaking to 
their foundation and lowering perceptibly the timbers which 
sustained the wheel, thus enfeebling the arm of our power in 
the climax of our danger. The wave, with portions of the 
wreck, rolled deep and dark over the quarter-deck. One of 
these struck the captain on the head, while the wave drove 
him insensible to the stern of the ship, where the network 
barely saved him from an ocean grave. 

" About one o'clock, while many were seated in the lower 
cabin, a sea struck the ship, a tremendous crash was heard 
on deck, and instantly the cabin was darkened and torrents 
of water came pouring down through the skylights. All 
sprang to their feet, and a scream of terror rang through 
the ship, which pitched and rolled so fearfully that with 
no little difficulty we could maintain our position upon our 
seats, and not a few received bruises and contusions. 

" In these circumstances, a proposition was made, and ac- 
cepted by all who could attend, to meet in the lower cabin 
for prayer. It was prayer, not in forms and words merely, 
but the importunity of the heart, crushed by perils from 
which it could not escape, and pressed by the complex inter- 
ests of time and eternity, looking up to the only power in 
the universe that could save. In the evening, Dr. Balch 
administered the communion in the cabin. In the mean 
time the storm raged on, but from the time of our public 
supplications the desolations ceased. 

" We had hoped the preceding night that the morning 
would bring a change, and in the morning that noon would 
witness a favorable crisis, and at noon that evening would 
realize our hopes. But the storm travelled on from morning 
to noon, and from noon to evening, with augmented power, 
till it became evident that we must encounter the terrors of 
another night j and the general opinion was that the ship 
could not outride the storm. And now, while prayer un- 
ceasing went up to God, I have cause to know that on the 
part of numbers immediate preparations for eternity com- 



STORM ON THE ATLANTIC. 81 

menced, and not a few, I trust, with calm resignation, and 
peace that passeth knowledge, and joy unspeakable, were 
prepared to meet their God. 

" And now the dreaded night came on in darkness visible 
and terrible convulsions. It was long and dreadful. First 
came a long slow roll of the ship to and fro, almost from 
beam's end to beam's end, thrice repeated. Then ensued a 
momentary quiet and onward motion of the ship, and then 
suddenly the thunder of waves began again, louder and 
louder, and more powerful and rending, as if every portion 
of our ship would be torn in fragments and scattered upon 
the deep. Then gradually the thunderings ceased, as if the 
elements, wearied and breathless by their efforts, had paused 
to rest and gain breath for another assault. About five 
o'clock a more terrible squall struck the ship suddenly, — a 
perfect tornado. She careened over, and buried her gun- 
wales in the ocean, her wheelhouse covered by the waves 
that helped the wind to lay her on her side. There she lay 
for a few moments, stricken powerless, at the mercy of the 
waves. At this critical moment, when another wave might 
have finished her, the engine was true to her duty, and round 
aud round thundered her iron wings, when, gradually re- 
covering her upright position, the good ship came up to her 
course." 

The captain afterwards stated that the water was 
within six inches of the fires, and that another wave 
such as they had experienced before must have dis- 
abled the machinery, and settled the fate of the ship. 

Mr Carter was one of those who took active part in 
all the religious services of this exciting period. His 
son carried through life the impression made by his 
father's calmness and faith throughout the peril. He 
remembers his taking him in his arms, and saying, 
•' We are in great danger. It is very probable that our 
ship will go down, down, down into the great sea, and 

6 



82 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

we shall never see your two dear little brothers in this 
world ; but if we love and trust the Lord Jesus, our 
souls will go up, up, up, into the blessed heaven, and 
we shall live always with our God." 

He often afterwards described a scene when he en- 
tered his state-room and found his little son standing 
by his mother, who was very ill in her berth, and trying 
to comfort her. " Don't be afraid, Mamma. Don't you 
remember how we were upset in the stage-coach on 
the top of Sonter Hill ? If God had wanted us to die, 
don't you think he would have let us be killed then ? " 
Just then a tremendous wave swept over the ship, 
rushing down into the cabin, spreading darkness and 
confusion about them, and the little fellow fell upon 
his knees with a cry to God for help. 

The latter part of the voyage was rendered very 
pleasant by the society of so many congenial spirits 
as were brought together by the return of the Evan- 
gelical Alliance delegates. He tells the following inci- 
dents of this time. 

" In 1846 I took my family to England, and suc- 
ceeded in making arrangements for several important 
works. On my return voyage, the venerable Lyman 
Beecher was a fellow passenger. One day, seated on 
deck, he asked me what books I had brought out with 
me, — anything which would be of use at home. I 
told him that I had spent some pleasant time with 
Dr. Chalmers. He had recommended a friend of his, a 
bookseller, to issue an edition of Turretin's Works in 
four volumes, in Latin, and I was to join him and take 
half the edition. Dr. Beecher shook his head, and said, 
1 If you have not a good backbone, that will floor you.' 
I asked why he thought so. ' I have studied that book 
carefully, and it will not go. We have gone far beyond 



DR. LYMAN BEECHER. 83 

that now. But/ said he, ' would you like me to tell 
you how you could make your fortune ? ' I said, ' Yes.' 
' I propose to issue a uniform edition of my works, and 
they will go like hot cakes. Would you like to publish 
them ? ' I replied, that they would suit New England 
better than New York. Some months later, when Tur- 
retin was ready, a gentleman came into my store and 
asked for it. He sat down and examined it a little, and, 
turning to me, said, ' I wonder you ventured on this 
large work.' I told him that others had shared in 
that idea, and told the story of Dr. Beecher. He 
laughed heartily, and said, ' He is my father.' Henry 
Ward Beecher had just come to Brooklyn, and I had 
not met him before. My share of the edition was soon 
disposed of, and some hundreds more came from Scot- 
land, which found a ready market." 

" Shortly after my return from England, I published 
an edition of Henry's Commentary, in six volumes, 
octavo. It was my largest undertaking. The stereo- 
type plates were printed by a printer in Spruce Street, 
who kept them deposited in his vault. One day he 
came to me and said he required the room in the vault, 
and asked me to remove them to my own vault in 
Broadway. I told him to take them out at his own 
convenience and send them to me, and I would pay for 
the trouble, but not to leave them an hour after they 
were taken from his vault. Contrary to these orders, 
he took them out on a Saturday, left them on the 
floor of his office, and that night several buildings were 
burned down and these plates went with them, a dead 
loss to me. They cost originally about eighteen thou- 
sand dollars. The next year I went again to England, 
and bought another set of plates, from which we have 
printed many editions." 



84 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

The following sketch of his dear old friend, Thomas De 
Witt, D.D., of the Collegiate Dutch Reformed Church, 
contains some reminiscences of the visit to Europe in 
1846, and is therefore inserted here. 

" My father landed in New York on a Sabbath morn- 
ing, and I took him with me to church. Dr. De Witt 
was in the pulpit. His subject was the tomb in the 
garden. The last step in the humiliation of our dear 
Redeemer drew forth the tenderness, the rich illustra- 
tion, and the warm love of the youthful preacher. My 
father had been six weeks at sea. He was hungering 
and thirsting for the bread of life, and he found it that 
day. ' Oh ! ' said he, as we left the church, ' what a ser- 
mon ! He is a wonderful preacher. He must be very 
popular.' ' Yes,' said I, ' he is one of the most effective 
preachers in our city.' I had been only a year in New 
York then, and had not been introduced to the Doctor, 
but I had a deep reverence for him. 

" Shortly after I commenced business Dr. De Witt 
came to see me. He talked so pleasantly that I was 
induced to lay before him my plan of work. He 
listened patiently, and was evidently much pleased. 
He said, ' I shall call attention to your work in the 
Christian Intelligencer. We need such a store here.' 
In the following week he fulfilled his promise, and 
urged the clergymen and members of the churches to 
call and see my stock. The library of the converted 
Jew, Mr. Fry, had been sold at auction, and I had 
bought a large part of it. The folios, too large to go on 
shelves, were strewed on the floor, and the good Doctor 
bought the Works of Bishop Reynolds, a huge folio. 
I offered to send it home for him, but he said, ' No, 
I shall take it myself.' A few days after the notice 
in the Intelligencer, a clergyman from Ulster County 



DR. DE WITT. 85 

came in and took a number of the folios and gave me 
$110 in gold for them. I think that was the largest 
sale I had made. For nearly forty years the kind- 
hearted Doctor treated me as a son. His reviews came 
out week after week in the papers, and they were writ- 
ten by a graceful pen. In 1846 I had the privilege of 
accompanying him and his daughter to England. Be- 
fore we landed, he said to me : ' If you will go direct 
from Liverpool to Edinburgh, I will go with you. I 
had intended to go to Holland first ; but as you are 
acquainted in Scotland and I am a stranger there, I 
would like to go with you.' To this I gladly assented. 
We took Melrose, Dry burgh, and Abbots ford on our 
way, stopped a few hours in my native village, where 
we took tea with the old minister that had baptized all 
my father's eleven children and had received me at the 
age of fourteen into the church, and who was in my 
eyes a meet companion for the good Doctor. A little 
incident occurred which has often come up to me since. 
On our way from Melrose to Dryburgh, where Sir 
Walter Scott was buried, we crossed the Tweed in a 
ferry-boat. The Doctor, rubbing his hands, exclaimed, 
' If this is so beautiful, what must heaven be ? ' In Ed- 
inburgh we met Dr. Chalmers, with whom we spent two 
delightful forenoons. We also met Drs. Guthrie, Cand- 
lish, Cunningham, and others, and the dear Doctor was 
in his element. On Sabbath we heard Guthrie, Gordon, 
and Candlish preach. In the evening the Doctor said 
to me, ' What a day this has been ! such preaching ! ' 

" When he visited my store, he usually inquired what 
success this book and that had. He seemed to take 
a personal interest in them, as if he had been a part- 
ner. On one occasion he bought a number of books 
for a son of Dr. Scudder, who was a student at New 



86 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

Brunswick. He said to me, ' Would you like to give 
him something ? ' I had just published Poole's Annota- 
tions, in three imperial octavo volumes. I said, ' I will 
give him this.' About two years later, a young man 
entered my store and bought some books. He said 
to me, ' You gave my brother Poole's Commentary ; I 
value it very highly, and need it as much as he.' I 
gave it to him. Still later, a third came with the same 
story, and received it. ' How many sons has your fa- 
ther ? ' I asked. ' Seven.' ' And do you suppose they 
will all study for the ministry ? ' 'I suppose they will.' 
How many got Poole I do not remember, but I think 
it was good seed cast into good ground. 

" When the Doctor made his visits among his peo- 
ple, he included my family. And oh how pleasant it 
sounded, when I returned home in the evening, to hear 
my dear wife say, ' Dr. De Witt was here to-day ' ! The 
Wednesday before he died, my wife and I paid him a 
visit. It was a very tender one. He said, ' Whether 
it is my phlegmatic constitution or not, I cannot say, 
but I have not had a doubt of my interest in Christ.' 
He seemed in the land of Beulah. He was seated in 
his arm-chair in the library in perfect peace. Oh, how 
much I owe to him ! Yerily he has his reward." 

It would not perhaps be too much to say, that there 
was no layman in this country more largely known 
among the clergy than Bobert Carter. His store for 
many years, especially after its removal to Broadway, 
almost served the purpose of a ministers' exchange or 
a ministerial club-room. On Monday mornings, the 
minister's rest day, the store would be filled with cler- 
gymen, and the most delightful conversations and dis- 
cussions would be carried on, in all which Mr. Carter 
took his part and held his own. Ministers from neigh- 



FRIENDS AMONG THE CLERGY. 87 

boring towns would come in for the purpose of joining 
the charmed circle. The Princeton and Union Semi- 
nary Professors were often there. None of them were 
more revered and beloved by Mr. Carter than Dr. James 
W. Alexander; but there was a long list of others 
whom he delighted to meet. Among the honored 
names are those of the Hodges and Alexanders, of 
Drs. Miller, Smith, Skinner, McElroy, Potts, Krebs, 
Murray, Phillips, Hutton, and Cuyler. 

Episcopal and Methodist bishops and clergy, minis- 
ters of the Baptist, Dutch Reformed, and other denomi- 
nations, mingled with the rest, and it almost seemed 
as if it might be said that the idea that there is "no 
sect in heaven" had been realized on earth. In Mr. 
Carter's heart the unity and brotherhood of the Church 
of Christ was an accepted fact. Among his dearest 
personal friends were Bishop Mcllvaine and Drs. Tyng, 
Newton, and Muhlenberg of the Episcopal Church, all 
of whom were frequenters of the symposiums at his 
store. On his list of authors there are as many Epis- 
copal as Presbyterian names, and Baptists, Methodists, 
Congregationalists, and Quakers are all represented. It 
may astonish some of his orthodox friends to know 
that there are even Unitarian and Roman Catholic 
names on the list. And yet he was most conscien- 
tious in regard to never publishing anything which he 
did not personally accept as true, and calculated to do 
good. 

He was so careful in regard to publishing nothing 
that he could not approve, that he seldom published 
anything that he had not read. There were a few of 
his authors whose opinions he was as sure of as he 
was of his own, and whose writings he accepted with- 
out reading. This careful supervision involved an im- 



88 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

rnense amount of reading of manuscripts, often to a 
late hour at night, sometimes in very difficult hand- 
writing, and yet to the close of his life he never used 
spectacles. 

His authors were always his friends. At his funeral 
Dr. McCosh paid a warm tribute to his liberal dealings 
with him. Spurgeon wrote to him on one occasion, " I 
am glad that Robert Carter and Brothers are not only 
publishers of my sermons, but also true and generous 
friends, with whose conduct I am more than satisfied." 
Dr. Guthrie and his family bore similar testimony. 
After his death, Dr. Macduff of Glasgow wrote an 
article about him for a Scottish paper, from which the 
following is an extract : — 

" In these days, when the questions of copyright and 
royalty between this country and America are keenly de- 
bated, aud caustic reflections are often, and I doubt not at 
times with good reason, thrown out regarding the niggardly 
dealings of Transatlantic publishers, it is only a pleasure and 
a duty on the part of an author to record with gratitude an 
exception. 

" My intercourse with his house extends over a quarter of 
a century. In addition to modest royalties paid by the firm, 
there has been over and above, for a long course of years, a 
personal annual gift of £25. More than once I attempted 
remonstrance. It was of no avail. Regularly as the end 
of January came around, the well known yellow envelope 
made its appearance with its wonted contents, the value of 
which was greatly enhanced by the warm and generous 
words which invariably accompanied it. We had met more 
than once pleasantly, both in this country and on the Con- 
tinent. On the latter occasion, we formed one of a happy 
travelling party with the late Dr. Guthrie. Possibly from 
his reticence regarding many a good deed, he might not like 
my making this small revelation. But I make it, as I think 



A PEACEMAKER. 89 

it worth making. And I am not sorry, for other and bet- 
ter than money reasons, — for having the opportunity along 
with the many who knew and prized his worth, of adding a 
stone to the cairn of Robert Carter." 

These are but specimens of many similar testimonies, 
chosen only because the authors are of world-wide 
reputation. 

In 1848 he took into partnership with him his two 
youngest brothers, Walter and Peter, and removed to 
the store No. 285 Broadway, where they remained eight 
years. The relations between the brothers were always 
of the most affectionate nature, never shadowed by the 
slightest approach to a difference. When separated, 
letters were interchanged every day. When one was 
sick, the others saw him daily. The relationship be- 
tween them was like that of father and son added to 
that of brother. 

Mr. Peter Carter, who was associated with his brother 
forty-nine years, first as clerk and then as partner, and 
who was nearly seventeen years a member of his family, 
probably knowing him better than any other man, 
thus writes of him : — 

" My brother was pre-eminently a peacemaker. He greatly 
delighted in the beatitude of Matthew v. 9, and was always 
ready to use his influence to heal and prevent division. One 
day, many years ago, a leading business man of the city, the 
senior partner of a firm of two brothers, called at our store 
and said, ' My brother is about to leave me, not from any dis- 
satisfaction, but because he thinks it is his duty to engage in 
something else, and he has the most extravagant ideas of the 
value of his share in the business. What am I to do 1 * 

" My brother thought a moment, and then said, ' If I were 
you, I would say to him in the kindest way, " Write on a piece 
of paper just what you think you ought to have for your 



90 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

share in the business." If it is at all reasonable or possible 
for you to grant it, do so by all means. But if not, then see 
if he will not modify it a little \ but grant it as he writes it, if 
you possibly can, for you will never be sorry for doing so.' 

"The gentleman went away determined to act on this ad- 
vice. In about a week he came back to say that he had done 
as my brother suggested, and that the written demand was 
much more reasonable than he expected, so he granted it at 
once. The brothers parted the best of friends. Some years 
after, when the eldest brother, who had been greatly pros- 
pered in business, died, in his will he left his younger brother, 
who had not been so successful, a very handsome legacy. 

" Another incident may be mentioned. The owners of 
the copyright of Webster's Royal Octavo Dictionary had 
given written permission to a publishing firm in New York 
to issue certain smaller Dictionaries with the name of Webster 
attached to them. These publishers began the preparation 
of an edition of the Dictionary which the copyright owners 
considered likely to compete with the Royal Octavo edition. 
This, in their opinion, was not permitted by the contract 
held by the New York publishers. A suit was brought 
against these publishers, but the judge, before whom it came 
very wisely said that this was a matter about which he and 
his fellow justices had no knowledge, and therefore decided 
that two publishers who knew the use and custom of the 
trade, and a lawyer who understood the legal points, should 
act as arbitrators in the case. For this purpose the judge 
chose Mr. J. H. Butler, of Northampton, Mass., and my 
brother Robert, as the two publishers, and the Hon. W. M. 
Evarts, now representing the State of New York in the 
United States Senate, as the lawyer. The meetings were 
held in the Everett House, Seventeenth Street, New York. 

" The discussion turned chiefly on the meaning of two 
words, size and intermediate. The owners of the copyright 
contending that size necessarily includes the idea of shape, 
used the following homely illustration to support this view : 



PEACEMAKING. 91 

' Suppose you went to a shoemaker and ordered a pair of boots 
made to measure. If when they came home they proved to 
be half an inch too long and a quarter of an inch too narrow, 
would it be any satisfaction to you should the shoemaker 
say that the boots, if filled with water, would hold exactly the 
same quantity as if they had been made as they were ordered 1 
Certainly not, for size includes shape as well/ In regard to 
the word intermediate the question was whether it was any- 
where between two points, or near the middle. The owners 
of the copyright affirmed the latter. One of the ablest advo- 
cates on the side of the copyright owners was that grand old 
man, the late Chauncey Goodrich, of Yale College, and he 
came armed with a perfect legion of authorities. The meet- 
ings were continued for nearly a week, and resulted in a ver- 
dict in favor of the owners of the copyright. 

"One thing I used greatly to admire in him was the 
patience with which he listened to those who came to him 
for money. He would politely seat them, and then hear 
their story. Many a disheartened advocate of a good cause 
gathered fresh courage after an interview with him, and felt 
gratitude for the contribution that almost invariably followed. 
Sometimes one after another of these needy applicants would 
appear on the same morning, and yet neither his patience 
nor his gifts ever seemed to fail." 

He often told a story of two partners in business with 
whom lie was well acquainted. They quarrelled, and 
dissolved partnership. One of them was telling Mr. 
Carter of the circumstances, and he said to him : " Mr. 
B., you profess to be a Christian man. It is your duty 
to live peaceably, and rather to suffer wrong than quarrel. 
Cannot you arrange this matter with Mr. D. ? " Mr. B. 
said he was willing to do all in his power to effect a rec- 
onciliation, or a separation on friendly terms. He felt 
that it was not best for him to talk with his partner 
any more on the subject, but he asked Mr. Carter if he 



92 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

would not go to his partner and offer him any terms 
that Mr. Carter thought right and reasonable. He went 
and was very kindly received, and the two talked over 
the matter pleasantly for a time, and there seemed good 
prospect of the affair being amicably settled, when sud- 
denly Mr. D. started to his feet, exclaiming, "You 
don't know my partner, Mr. Carter. He is a bad man, 
and I would not settle this matter if you offered me 
fifty thousand dollars." " I have no fifty thousand to 
offer." And the interview ended. Years passed, and 
one day Mr. D. entered Mr. Carter's store, and sought a 
private conversation with him. He told him that he 
felt himself to be a changed man, that he realized the 
worldliness of all his former life, and that the night 
before he had gone up to the altar of the Methodist 
Church which he attended, and that he believed himself 
converted. "I came to you this morning, because I 
knew how glad you would be." Mr. Carter rejoiced 
with him, and then said : " It is your duty to be recon- 
ciled to your brother. You remember on what terms 
you parted with Mr. B. Will you not seek reconcilia- 
tion with him ? " " That is all settled. I went to see 
him after church last night. He came down greatly 
surprised to hear that I was there. I asked his forgive- 
ness, and we fell into each other's arms, and shed tears 
together. All that breach is healed." " Since you 
parted," Mr. Carter said, "you have been prosperous, 
while your old partner has been unsuccessful. Could 
you not find him some opening in business ? " "I will 
do my best to find him one." 

Mr. Carter had many such incidents in his inter- 
course with his compeers in business. As he went 
he preached, sometimes audibly, but always by his life. 
A friend writes of him : — 



VISITING THE SICK. 93 

" A "Western publisher said to me one day, ' I don't pro- 
fess to be a Christian myself, and I don't believe much in 
many of those who do ; but I know one thing, if there is a 
consistent man in the publishing trade, Robert Carter is 
that man.' * Has he been talking to you about religion 1 ' 
1 No, he never said a word to me directly about religion in 
all my intercourse with him ; but the atmosphere in which 
he moved was so pure and holy, I could not help looking 
to see if there was not a halo around his face. His business 
intercourse with his customers impressed them with his in- 
tegrity and conscientiousness, and they implicitly trusted 
his every word. Robert Carter is a true, honest good man ; 
there is no cant, no deception nor trickery, about him.' " 

Mr. Carter himself writes as follows : — 
"Among the booksellers with whom I had dealings 
in my early years, there was one from whom I pur- 
chased much of the material which I wanted. When 
I entered his store, he usually came to me, and we 
had a pleasant chat. He was kind and friendly, 
but his views were in some regards so different from 
mine that I have often wondered why he was so 
ready to talk with me. One day when I called, his 
son said to me, ' My father is very sick ; I wish you 
could see him.' He had been taken ill in the country 
at the house of his daughter, and I thought I could not 
go to him. A little later, I was informed that he had 
returned home rather better, and would like to see me. 
I immediately went to his house, and found him much 
better than I feared. He received me very cordially, 
told me he had retired from business, had made his 
will, and was now free from earthly cares. I expressed 
my satisfaction at this, and hoped he might have a 
peaceful old age after a very active life. 'But,' said T, 
' will you allow me to ask you a question ? ' ' Yes, sir, 



94 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

a thousand, if you like.' ' Then/ said I, ■ ever since I 
knew you, you were laying plans for future work. I 
would like to know what arrangements you have made 
for that eternal world to which we are all hastening.' 
' None at all,' said he. ' Is this wise ? Can you leave 
the vast concerns of eternity unsettled ? ' ' No, sir,' 
said he, 4 it is madness.' 'Then,' said I, 'there is yet 
time. He is able to save to the uttermost. The voice is 
still heard, Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest.' We had a very tender 
interview. When I left him, his dear wife accompa- 
nied me to the door, and said, ' I never saw my husband 
so melted before.' The next day his daughter came to 
my store in his carriage, and asked me to ride up with her 
and see her father. ' He has been ill at ease since you 
left him.' I found him in great distress. ' What can I 
do ? I have received blessing after blessing, and I never 
thanked God for them. Is there yet hope for me ? ' 
I could only point to the Lamb of God, that taketh 
away the sin of the world. Believe on the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and thou shalt be saved. I dwelt especially on 
the word now. ' Yes,' said he, ' if that applies to any, it 
does to me. I cannot be long here.' ' This moment let 
us ask, and He will hear.' With many tears, we asked 
— oh how earnestly ! — for pardon, for a broken heart, 
for a right spirit, for peace with God through faith in 
the Lord Jesus Christ. Day after day I visited him 
for several months, and what a marvellous change came 
over him. His loathing of sin, his adoration of the dear 
Kedeemer who washed him in His precious blood, his 
distrust of himself, and his new-born faith in the atone- 
ment, were most marked. He had attended church dur- 
ing a long life, but he said his mind was elsewhere. My 
language to him was almost entirely in the words of 



VISITING THE SICK. 95 

Scripture. The Holy Spirit makes the word quick and 
powerful for the conviction and conversion of sinners." 

All his life through Mr. Carter was an acceptable 
visitor at the bedsides of the sick and dying. He was 
an invaluable pastor's assistant, unwearied in his lov- 
ing ministrations, ever tender and sympathetic. His 
counsels, and especially his prayers, were most appro- 
priate, and many a time he was roused in the night 
to help some dying person in his passage through the 
valley of the shadow of death, sitting beside him, and 
whispering words of faith and hope until the ears were 
closed to every earthly sound, and then turning to the 
mourning friends with words of heavenly comfort. For 
weeks afterwards, his visits would be frequent and wel- 
come. There are hundreds of people now living in 
whose minds he is associated with their hours of deep- 
est distress, as the faithful and sympathizing and sus- 
taining friend and counsellor. Many who had refused 
to listen to him in their hours of prosperity, when he 
besought them to make their peace with God, would 
remember him when days of sorrow came, and send 
for one who was so ready to come at their first call. 
Of him the Master will surely say, " I was sick, and ye 
visited me." He visited rich and poor alike, was often 
in stately as well as squalid homes. In his house there 
were many tokens of gratitude and affection, sent by the 
sick whom he had comforted ; but more often it was in 
the homes of poverty that he was found, and he min- 
istered to the physical as well as to the spiritual wants 
of the needy. 

For the last thirty years of his life he seldom went 
to his place of business in the afternoon, giving only 
the morning hours to work of that kind. His after- 
noons were largely spent in Christian work, many of 



96 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

them on important committees ; but on the majority of 
them he and his wife would go out together to visit the 
poor, the sick, and the afflicted. When the ear heard 
them, then it blessed them ; when the eye saw them, it 
bare witness to them ; the blessing of him that was 
ready to perish came upon them, and they caused the 
widow's heart to sing for joy ; the cause that they knew 
not, they searched out. The Psalmist's blessing on him 
that considereth the poor came upon them. 

The following narrative from his own pen may find a 
place here : — 

" I was standing by my desk after the opening ser- 
vices of the Sabbath School were over, when the door 
opened and a little girl looked in, as if afraid to en- 
ter. I went up to her and asked if she wished to 
attend the school, to which she replied, ' Yes.' ' What 
is your name ? ' ' Kate.' On this, one of the teachers 
came up and said, ' I want Kate in my class.' ' Very 
well,' said I, ' she may go.' This was to poor Kate a 
new life. She was the daughter of a brave pilot, whose 
business it was to conduct ships into the harbor of 
New York. Kate was his only child. One day when 
a fearful storm was raging, he offered his services to go 
out on his dangerous work. He went, but never re- 
turned. His wife and child looked out impatiently for 
his return, but in vain. After selling some of the arti- 
cles which they thought they could dispense with, the 
poor mother went out and washed and scrubbed to 
gain bread for herself and child. One day she was 
washing at the house of one of my teachers, when the 
bell rung and Kate came to see her mother. It was a 
wet day, and the teacher took Kate and dried her by 
the fire and gave her something to eat. Her heart was 
unaccountably drawn to the child. After a little talk 



SUNDAY SCHOOL. 97 

she asked Kate if she would like to come to the Sab- 
bath school. The child looked to her mother. The 
mother said, ' It is the only day I have her with me ; 
I cannot let her go.' After several other visits, the 
mother consented to let her go, and so she came. I 
could see the intense interest the child took in her 
lessons. She had attended the public school during 
the week, but had received no religious instruction. 
This was all new. From her first entrance nothing 
could keep her away on the Sabbath till one day I 
missed her. I inquired of the teacher what was the 
matter. She said, ' She must be sick.' I took her ad- 
dress, and the next day my wife went with me to see 
her. We found her in a rear building upstairs. She 
was very sick, but her mother had to leave her to do 
her work. After talking with her, and prayer, I rose 
to bid her good by. The poor child looked so pale and 
thin and feeble, that I was deeply moved. I took out 
a ten-dollar bill, and handed it to her. She burst into 
tears, and said, ' I cannot take it, sir ; there are many 
poorer than L' { Yes,' said I, ' but you must take it. 
You need some delicacies now, and your mother will get 
them for you.' I little thought that the mother had 
been told, if her rent were not paid on the following 
Friday, they would be turned into the street. The rent 
was six dollars a month, and Kate's illness had run the 
poor widow behind. Kate recovered, and returned to 
school. One Sabbath evening she read to her mother 
the old, old story of the crucifixion of Jesus. The 
poor child burst into tears and said : ' mother, I am 
so happy since I learned that Jesus loved me and died 
for me ! The minister to-day invited those who loved 
Jesus to come to-morrow to his house to converse with 
him about remembering Him at the approaching com- 

7 



98 LIFE OF KOBERT CARTER. 

Hiunion. I want to remember Him. Mother, may I 
go ? ' The mother consented. Kate's testimony was 
remarkably clear. It was simply love to Christ and a 
desire to serve Him. The Blessed Spirit had spoken 
to her heart. Some time afterwards the dear child 
was reading to her mother a portion of the Gospels. 
She looked tenderly in her mother's face, and said, 
' Mother, do you love the dear Saviour ? ' The mother 
shook her head. ' mother, if you knew how happy 
I am since I loved Him, you would love Him too.' The 
mother rose and entered a little closet and shut the 
door. Her groans pierced the poor child's heart. She 
rose and tapped at the door, and asked, ' May I come 
in ? ' ' Yes.' She went and wept and talked with her, 
and then prayed fervently that her mother might be 
made a new creature. The prayer was answered. The 
mother sat with Kate at the communion table, and it 
was a happy home, and there was joy in heaven. Kate 
was again taken sick. Three little nieces of mine 
visited her regularly. They took various delicacies to 
her, but they did more. They could sing sweetly, and 
they sang ' Jesus loves me, this I know,' and ' Jesus paid 
it all, all the debt I owe.' ' Ah ! ' said the poor child, 
' that is my hymn. I owed a heavy debt and had noth- 
ing to pay it with. How good He is ! ' In my visits to 
Kate, I never heard a murmur or a doubt. Nothing but 
faith and hope and joy. I often blessed God for such 
a testimony. Had I no other fruit of my forty years' 
labor in the Sabbath school, this alone was worth it all. 
One evening Kate said to her mother, ' I am going 
home soon to be with Jesus. What will you do when 
I am gone ? ' 'I shall stay here where I shall have the 
Sabbath to myself. It is a precious place, Kate, where 
you and I have found Jesus.' ' That is just what I 



DR. GRISCOM. 99 

want, mother.' The dear girl had no anxiety about 
herself, but she yearned over her mother. On Thanks- 
giving morning, before the good people of New York 
arose to give thanks for the mercies of the preceding 
year, Kate went to give thanks in the house not made 
with hands, eternal in the heavens. Two days later a 
few who knew her worth followed the dear remains to 
their last resting place. There shall they remain till 
the trump shall raise the quick and dead." 

John Griscom, LL. D., Mr. Carter's early and highly 
valued friend and patron, died February 25, 1852. Dr. 
Griscom was widely known as a learned and influential 
member of society, a professor of chemistry, and an able 
contributor to the leading scientific journals of the day. 
Mr. Carter's love for him never waned, but he spoke of 
him with the utmost gratitude and tenderness to the 
last days of his own life. In a letter written shortly 
after Dr. Griscom's death, he speaks with pleasure of 
his intimate acquaintance " with one who never met me 
without a smile of complacency, and whose sound ad- 
vice and kind encouragement were never withheld in 
time of need." Dr. Griscom removed to Burlington, 
N. J., shortly after Mr. Carter's arrival in New York, 
but their friendship never lapsed. Mr. Carter writes 
of him : — 

" On his first visit to my dwelling, after my marriage, 
he looked around the parlor, and with unaffected kind- 
ness addressed me : ' Little didst thou think, a few years 
ago, when thou called on me, a poor Scotch lad, that 
thou shouldst be so soon in such comfortable circum- 
stances. I am glad to see thee so happily situated.' 

" Some years later, he again dined with me, and spent 
the evening. Taking my little boy, three years old, on 
his knee, he heard him, with evident pleasure, repeat a 



100 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

number of the Psalms in the old Scottish version, and 
remarked that, though they had not the smooth flow 
of some later versions, they yet had the merit of keep- 
ing close to the original. He then repeated to the child 
Montgomery's version of the 72d Psalm, telling him that 
he knew the author well, and esteemed him highly. 

" On my apologizing for certain forms which, as a 
Presbyterian, I observed in my family, he earnestly 
replied, ' Go on in thy usual way ; I don't want thee 
to change.' 

" After I began to publish books, he manifested a 
warm interest in their success. Each visit he made, he 
questioned me regarding their sale, and often did his 
eye kindle with animation, as I related to him the large 
sale of some of his favorite authors I was often sur- 
prised by his largeness of view. He did not disparage 
books because there were some things in them contrary 
to his views of church order, but would remark, ' The 
spirit of this book is excellent, though there are some 
particulars in which I do not agree with the author.' 
In fact, few critiques upon our publications have been 
so highly valued as those from his pen." 

In Dr. Griscom's Autobiography, after a sketch of 
some length of his friend Robert Carter, we find the fol- 
lowing words : " I make this statement as a preamble to 
the fact that he so abounds in gratitude for the friend- 
ship which I was at first induced to treat him with as 
to present to me copies of any work that issues from his 
press which I have any wish to read. I have from this 
source received an accession to my library of more than 
two hundred volumes. I could not do less than com- 
memorate such disinterested kindness, such an effusion 
of gratitude, at once challenging and receiving the 
grateful emotions of my heart." 



DR. GRISCOM. 101 

Mr. Carter writes some years later to John H. Gris- 
com, M. D., son of his old friend : — 

" In looking back to my intercourse with your vener- 
able father during the last twenty years of his life, I 
cannot express the feelings that oppress me. I was in- 
troduced to him as a young stranger from a distant 
land, — of a different creed as I then supposed, differing 
as I believed in hopes and fears, in joys and sorrows, — 
and yet there proved to be a wondrous oneness and 
resemblance. When I first knew him, our intercourse 
was purely of a literary kind. Though I cannot say 
that he introduced me to Milton, Cowper, and others 
of our favorite poets, I can yet state that he enhanced 
greatly the estimate I had of their beauties. After sev- 
eral years of pleasant progress, our paths diverged. He 
went to Ehode Island, and I entered the business world 
here. When we again met, our views were greatly 
changed, and yet we were more as one than before. 
The books that meanwhile had absorbed my attention 
I found to my great joy were equally attractive to him, 
Chalmers, Jay, McCosh, McCheyne, Stevenson, and 
others were his daily companions. He told me that he 
had perused Chalmers on the Eomans with most care- 
ful attention, and that he did not find a single paragraph 
which was not supported by Scripture. In this book he 
found distinct statements regarding the total depravity 
of man, and his consequent ruin ; the interposition of 
the blessed Saviour for his recovery ; his quickening and 
renewal by the Eternal Spirit, and the glorious work of 
sanctification begun, carried on, and perfected through 
the same holy agency ; and he was ready to set his seal 
to the truth of them all. His views of spiritual truth 
grew brighter and more cheerful as he approached the 
end of his peaceful career. The precious Saviour, in his 



102 LITE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

incarnation, his sufferings, his death, his resurrection 
and ascension, was the theme of his daily study. The 
Lord our Shepherd, and Christ on the cross, proved truly 
refreshing to his yearning spirit. 

" There were some peculiar views in which, though I 
did not agree with him, he yet showed the accuracy 
with which he examined truth. For example, he said 
to me, I do not like the phrase ' the word of God,' as ap- 
plied to the Scriptures. Jesus Christ is the Word, — 
we should not apply the term to aught else. 

" I shall not easily forget the last interview I had 
with him. He was blind and feeble, but cheerful and 
even joyous. I reached his pleasant little home in Bur- 
lington about six o'clock P. m. He gave me a most cor- 
dial welcome, told me what books his daughter had 
been reading aloud, and how refreshing they had been 
to him , ascended from these little rills to the pure, 
clear, ever-gushing fountain, — the Book of books ; went 
back to the days of other years, and described the efforts 
of great and good men to put in circulation the Holy 
Scriptures ; dilated upon the formation of the Ameri- 
can Bible Society, at the first meeting of which he was 
present, and traced down the blessings that flowed from 
this noble institution throughout this broad land. 

" I had often enjoyed sweet converse with him, but 
never had I communed so closely with the inner man. 
It seemed quite on the verge of heaven. I dare not 
say more. I tread on sacred ground." 

This last interview with his aged friend was one on 
which Mr. Carter always loved to dwell. He had stopped 
at Burlington unexpectedly on his way home from a 
meeting of the General Assembly. Mrs. Griscom ush- 
ered him into her husband's study, where he sat in blind- 
ness, with the words, " Thee canst not think who has 



DR. GRISCOM. 103 

come to see thee, John. It is a friend whom thee greatly 
values." " From New York or Philadelphia ? " " From 
New York." " Is it Eobert Carter ? ' "It is." The 
old man rose from his chair and held out his arms for 
an embrace, and then followed the interview which 
Mr. Carter describes in his letter. At bedtime the old 
gentleman proposed that they should have family wor- 
ship together in Mr. Carter's usual form before they 
separated, and accordingly Mr. Carter read the Bible 
and knelt in prayer, while Dr. and Mrs. Griscom kept 
their seats, as it was contrary to their custom to kneel. 
Early in the morning there came a knock at Mr. Carters 
door, and Dr. Griscom's voice said, " I am not allowed 
to get up in the morning so early, but I wish thee would 
come to my room as soon as thee is dressed, that we may 
talk again." Mr. Carter was soon beside his friends 
bed, and he said to him : " I lie awake much in the night, 
and last night I was thinking about thy prayer. I am 
convinced that we lose much in our Society by not 
having audible prayer, family worship, and blessing at 
table. If I were to begin life over again, I would do 
differently." 

They soon after parted, never to meet again on earth, 
but one of the joys of eternity to them both will be in 
each other's society. 

Their correspondence had been constant. Even af- 
ter the Doctor lost his sight, he wrote frequently, his 
daughter placing his pen at the beginning of each line, 
and he would then write on till he came to the edge of 
the paper. He wrote once, " Thee seest what a long 
letter I have written thee, and yet I have not seen a 
single word of it." 

A testimony similar to Dr. Griscom's to the power of 
Mr. Carter's family prayers was given by a Unitarian 



104 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

friend some years after. This gentleman met Mr. 
Carter at a watering place, and became well acquainted 
with him. The following winter he came to New York 
to attend a convention of the Unitarian Church, and 
stayed with Mr. Carter for about a week. He was al- 
ways present at family prayers, but did not kneel, as he 
had not been accustomed to such a service. When he 
was bidding farewell he said to his host : " I have been 
much interested in your custom of family prayer, and 
it seems to me an invaluable one. I mean to follow 
the practice myself when I go home, and I shall try to 
introduce it into our denomination as far as I am 
able." 

The following allusion to his prayers appeared in the 
Presbyterian of January 8, 1890, just after his death. 

" There are a great many persons in this land and other 
lands who know well the name of the late Robert Carter. 
They found it imprinted, perhaps, on the title page of some 
of the volumes most precious to them, — of the books which 
lie near them in sickness, or in hours of secret devotion. 
Others came to know this name by its association with some 
beneficent deed, done quietly and revealed unto them acci- 
dentally. But there are others, and of these many are 
ministers and elders in the churches, who will forever asso- 
ciate the name of this well beloved man with the prayers 
which they heard him ntter. He was often a member of 
the General Assembly ; he was unfailing in his presence at 
the devotional meetings of the Assembly, and by those who 
knew his power he was often called upon to lead these meet- 
ings in prayer. Always excellent, these prayers at times 
were wonderful. There was no wandering, no hesitation, 
no lack of well ordered words. Then there was such a large 
comprehension of the Gospel of Christ, and of its truths as 
wrought into the personal experience of the man ; while 
through all there ran a tide of emotion which touched all 



HIS PRAYERS. 105 

hearts around him, as they discerned the grace of God in 
him, and the quickening power of the love of Christ in his 
soul. No liturgy we ever heard could compare with it." 

His prayers were eminently Scriptural, and he made 
the Word of God his study and delight. He was to the 
close of his life the first of the family in the breakfast- 
room, and there he would sit reading the Bible until 
all were assembled, and he could begin family prayers. 
He read the Bible through every nine months, and the 
copy of the Scriptures in which his marks are pre- 
served is treasured by his children. 



CHAPTEE V. 

ME. SAMUEL THOMSON, Mr. Carter's father-in- 
law, died at his country residence on the Hudson, 
June 10, 1850, leaving behind him an honored name 
and a place in many hearts which never could be filled. 
He was possessed of remarkable physical beauty, a 
presence which made an impression wherever he went. 
He was a man of incorruptible integrity and large 
benevolence, his tender heart making him ever the 
friend of the widow and the fatherless. He had been 
for many years an elder in the Scotch Presbyterian 
Church in New York. Some ten or fifteen years before 
his death, he had made himself a beautiful country 
home on the northern end of New York Island, at a 
place which is now known as In wood. When he took 
up his residence there, there was no church within sev- 
eral miles, and he used to drive with his family to 
church at West Farms. Many of the people in the 
neighborhood were utterly irreligious, and as the family 
drove to church they could see the farmers at work in 
their fields. By and by they began to be ashamed of 
their Sunday work, and would run and hide themselves 
as they saw the good man's carriage approaching. Mr. 
Thomson cared for their souls, and lost no time in 
building on his own grounds a pretty little church, of 
which he was the first ruling elder, and for many years 
the main support. This church, happy and prosperous, 



THE TWO MOTHERS. 107 

has been ever since his best monument. On its walls 
a tablet erected by the unanimous vote of the congre- 
gation records his virtues and his liberality. 

In 1853, Mr. Carter's mother-in-law, Mrs. Thomson, 
left her beautiful home upon the Hudson, where the 
cares of her hospitable mansion were growing heavy 
for her increasing years, and came to live with her 
daughter in New York. Her presence in Mr. Car- 
ter's family was a constant benediction. She was as a 
second mother to his children, already so fully blessed 
in their own mother. Her beautiful, unselfish life left 
on them an impress never to be forgotten. Perhaps 
the two things most strongly associated in their minds 
with her were the Bible which was her constant read- 
ing, and the needle with which her ever active and 
skilful fingers were so steadily employed. She was a 
veritable Dorcas in preparing " coats and garments " 
for the poor, Never did fingers fly faster than hers, 
and never were stitches more beautifully set. Such 
was the loving kindness of her nature that only 
strangers thought of calling her Mrs. Thomson, while 
Auntie Thomson was a familiar name in many homes. 
On her lips was the law of kindness, and indeed all 
the description of the virtuous woman of Proverbs 
might be applied to her. Beecher says that no home 
is complete without the baby's cradle and the grand- 
mother's rocking-chair, and certainly the corner that 
held that capacious rocker with its venerable occupant 
was a blessed feature in Mr. Carter's home. He and 
his mother-in-law loved each other as own mother and 
son. For six weeks of every autumn his own mother 
came from Saratoga County to occupy another rocking- 
chair in the family room, and the two silver-haired old 
ladies made a beautiful picture as they sat together. 



108 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

Old Mrs. Carter was a striking and original charac- 
ter. Her speech was seasoned with plenty of Attic salt, 
as when she remarked of some one who had risen from 
poverty to affluence and was spoiled by the rise, " Ah ! 
when soles get to be upper leathers they 're awfu' stiff." 
Her son Eobert was idolized by her, and woe be to him 
who spoke slightingly of her treasure. It is related 
that when her son wrote to her, on his first coming to 
America, that some one had said that his being a for- 
eigner might make it harder for him to get a position, 
" Hech, sirs ! " said she, " they have a guid face to ca' my 
son a foreigner." When her son was at Peebles, he saw 
in the Bible of one of his pupils some verses which 
pleased him so much that he copied them and sent 
them to his mother. They appealed to her mother 
feeling, and to her latest days she loved to repeat them, 
in her rich expressive voice, and with her beautiful 
Scottish accent : — 

LINES BY A MOTHER IN HER SON'S BIBLE. 

Remember, love, who gave thee this, 

When other days shall come, — 
When she who had thy earliest kiss 

Sleeps in her narrow home : 
Remember 't was a mother gave 
The gift to one she 'd die to save. 

That mother sought a pledge of love, 

The holiest for her son, 
And from the gift of God above 

She chose a goodly one : 
She chose for her beloved boy 
The Source of life and light and joy, — 

And bade him keep the gift, that when 

The parting hour should come 
They might have hope to meet again 

In an eternal home ; 



HIS MOTHER. 109 

She said his faith in it should be 
Sweet incense to her memory. 

And should the scoffer in his pride 

Laugh that fond faith to scorn, 
And bid him cast that gift aside 

That he from youth had borne, 
She bade him pause and ask his breast 
If he or she had loved him best. 

A parent's blessing on her son 

Goes with this holy thing ; 
The love that would retain the one 

Must to the other cling ; 
Remember 't is no idle toy, 
A mother s gift I — remember, boy / 

She was a woman of unusual intelligence, and a great 
reader ; in fact, for many years she did little but read, 
as she lived with one or other of her children, and had 
no household cares. In addition to her long sojourn 
in New York every fall, her son always visited his 
mother in the summer, and his thoughtful care made 
every provision for her comfort. 

After her husband's death, old Mrs. Carter always 
led the family devotions herself, and conducted them 
with great unction and propriety, On one occasion the 
son of an old friend came out from Scotland, and went 
to her house for a visit. When night came, she, sup- 
posing that he was a Christian, handed him the Bible, 
and asked him to lead the family prayers, but he was 
obliged to say, " I cannot do it." She took the Bible 
herself and read a chapter, then one of the old Scottish 
Psalms was sung, and all knelt in prayer. She prayed 
earnestly for her guest, and he was much impressed 
with the whole service. He saw the contrast between 
his twenty-five years of prayerless life and the earnest, 
faithful Christianity of this old lady, and that prayer 



110 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

was used to bring liim to Christ. For many years he 
was an elder in a church in a Western city. 

Mr. Carter's home life was very beautiful. He and 
his wife were always married lovers, and entirely one 
in all their thoughts and aims and plans. In training 
their children, the two prominent ideas were love and 
obedience. He spoke in the last summer of his life of 
the remarkable gift of his wife in the training of chil- 
dren. Her will was law to them. Though her voice 
was never raised above its ordinary sweet and gentle 
utterance, they knew that its commands must be obeyed. 
Probably none of them remember being punished, be- 
cause any discipline of that kind was gotten over in 
their very earliest years ; but they had a very clear idea 
that any infringement of her commands would by 
no means escape chastisement. That knowledge was 
enough, and extreme measures did not need to be re- 
sorted to. She was a born teacher, though she never 
exercised her talents on any but her own children and 
grandchildren. Her children all learned to read almost 
as they learned to talk, so easy was the effort made to 
them, so carefully was their interest stimulated. Just 
a few minutes was given to the task each morning, and 
so pleasant was the exercise that the little ones would 
bring the book of their own accord and take the lesson 
as if it were a game. They all learned to read at four, 
and after that there were no more questionings, " What 
shall I do ? " It was a book -loving and book-supplied 
home, and the children took to it like ducks to water. 
After they learned to read, little technical instruction 
was given until they went regularly to school, which 
was sometimes not until they were eleven years old. 

Mr. Carter had a great idea of travel as a means of 
education, and they were taken to Europe repeatedly. 



LOVE OF TRAVEL. HI 

and every summer had some trip, — to Niagara or the 
White Mountains or the Thousand Isles. 1 When they 
were little, three or four months of every year was spent 
in the country, Mr. Carter taking a house in the neigh- 
borhood of the city, from which he could go to busi- 
ness every day. He was very fond of little excursions, 
and in the spring and fall afternoons would take his 
family to Hoboken, or Staten Island, or High Bridge, or 
some other rural neighborhood. After Central Park was 
made, he was a constant visitor there, and his friends 
would laughingly ask him if he was a Park Commis- 
sioner. Both parents made companions of their children 
to an unusual degree. The father would accompany 
them to the schoolhouse door on his way to business, 
and they would go down to his store in the afternoon for 
the pleasure of walking home with him, and these walks 
were by no means silent. His daughter remembers only 
one occasion on which he did not respond to her childish 
chatter, and that was one morning on the way to school, 
during the business crisis in 1857. He said, " I can't 
talk to you this morning ; I have something very im- 
portant to think about." The occurrence was so unpre- 
cedented as to fill her with amazement, and remained 
in her mind as something very puzzling until, in after 

1 He often told an incident of a trip to the White Mountains in 
1852. He was travelling with a party of friends, and stopped over 
night at St. Johnsbury, Vermont. As he sat on the hotel porch, 
he noticed that the villagers were making their way along the street 
towards the church. He asked the landlord what was going on, and 
was told, "0, just the weekly prayer meeting." Of course he must 
go, and a very pleasant gathering it was. Stopping after service to 
speak to the minister, he was introduced to Governor Fairbanks, an 
officer of the church. Mr. Carter remarked on the large attendance at 
an ordinary weekly prayer meeting. "I think, " said the Governor, 
" every member of our church was present to-night." " No," said the 
minister, "there was one absent. Mrs. B is ill. 



112 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

years, she solved the mystery by concluding that the 
failure of some business friend might have caused him 
distress. As he owed no man anything, these periods 
of financial depression gave him little personal uneasi- 
ness. It was a great benefit to his children to have his 
well-stored mind and large experience placed so con- 
stantly at their disposal, and as they grew, older and 
came to maturity he conversed with them on terms of 
equality, which were often surprising to themselves. 
He enjoyed the intercourse as much as they did. 

The evening hours of the family were delightful. 
The parents gave themselves up to the children. The 
mother was very fond of " blind man's holiday," as she 
called the interval between daylight and dark ; and as 
the twilight came on, books and work were laid aside, 
and by the light of the open fire she took part with 
her little ones in romping games, until the father came 
in to the cheerful evening meal. Then all joined in 
play together until the little ones were sent to bed, and 
then those who were in school went over with their 
father the lessons which had been already carefully 
prepared. They were not allowed to ask for help until 
they had done their very best by themselves, and even 
then the help given was only by suggesting, not by 
showing, the way out of the difficulty. It was a rare 
thing for any of his children to take to school or col- 
lege a lesson in Latin or Greek which had not first been 
gone over with him, and this was kept up till his sons 
graduated from college. 

A young man from Scotland came to New York with 
a letter of introduction to him. Before leaving his 
home his father said to him, " You must be careful how 
you behave when you visit Mr. Carter ; he is an elder 
in the church, and will tolerate no frivolity." When 



FAMILY LIFE. 113 

the young man came to deliver his letter, the family 
were engaged in a game of blindman's-buff in their 
dining-room. Mr. Carter went to his guest in the par- 
lor, and, remembering his own days of loneliness when 
he was a stranger in a strange land, he thought a little 
taste of home life would do him good ; so he asked him 
if he would not like to participate in the frolic, and the 
invitation was gladly accepted. The young man wrote 
to his father : " You need not have cautioned me about 
behaving soberly before Mr. Carter. 1 have had the 
jolliest evening at his house I ever spent in my life. 
He is as full of fun as a boy." 

After the death of Mrs. Carter, Mr. Peter Carter 
wrote the following description of the home which 
he most intimately knew. 

" Napoleon, it is said, being on one occasion asked what 
was the greatest need of France, replied, 'Mothers.' 

" And so the greatest need of America is Christian mothers. 
One beautiful illustration of this crowning glory of woman 
was Mrs. Robert Carter, of this city, who, on the 19th of 
July last, entered into her rest. Like the Shunamite woman 
in the days of Elisha, l She dwelt among her own people.' 
Born in New York in 1810, her whole life was spent in this 
city. Baptized in the Scotch Presbyterian Church by the 
eminent Dr. John M. Mason, she continued till her death in 
the membership of that church. 

" Her first-born was a bright and lovely boy, too sweet, 
too lovely for earth. He exhibited that beautiful evidence 
of the Holy Spirit's indwelling not unfrequently seen in 
those who are early transplanted to the garden of Paradise. 
Scarlet-fever, that fearful and fatal disease among children, 
carried him into the Saviour's arms. For nearly fifty years 
that loving mother cherished the memory of her darling boy. 
Other children were given to her to train for usefulness, and 

8 



114 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

how faithfully she did so the writer of this can testify, as it 
was his privilege to dwell beneath her roof for seventeen 
years while the process of training was going on. People 
often complain of the difficulty of bringing up children in a 
great city, but it was amongst its temptations and difficulties 
that she brought up hers. 

"As day by day I saw the absorbing devotion of that 
young mother to her little children, I sometimes wondered, 
as a child will, whether such devotion would paj\ But 
it did pay, and with compound interest. The little homes 
that have gone out from this one, modelled on the same pat- 
tern, are in turn training up sons and daughters to be the 
heads of similar Christian households by and by. Thus the 
influence of one wise Christian woman is being felt, and will 
be felt, in places far remote from her home. And though she 
has gone to her reward, the work still goes on, and will, from 
generation to generation. 

"As her children gathered round her, the missionary box 
became a prominent and important institution. For the 
cure of certain faults, and for the doing of certain services, 
little sums were paid by this careful mother to her chil- 
dren, with the understanding that they were to go into 
the missionary box. 

" The children were brought up to consider others rather 
than themselves, — to remember that the only way to be 
happy was to labor for the happiness of others. 

" The Sabbath evenings in this good woman's house, to 
those who, like the writer of this, were privileged to be with 
her through many years, will not soon be forgotten. 

" As the silent twilight shaded into the night, and before 
the candles were lighted, books were laid aside, and hymns 
and Scripture verses were repeated in rotation round the 
family circle. Her favorite selection was Watts's version 
of the Fifty-first Psalm : 

1 Show pity, Lord, Lord, forgive! 
Let a repenting rebel live. ' 



FAMILY LIFE. 115 

" Nothing was ever considered unimportant that had any 
bearing on the temporal or spiritual welfare of her children. 
Their diet was plain and substantial, and that simple food 
was partaken of with a relish unknown to those pampered 
children who are fed with luxurious dainties. A liberal edu- 
cation was provided and a plentiful supply of entertaining 
books, and when they were older and the circumstances of 
their parents permitted they were indulged with extensive 
travel, both at home and abroad. But increasing wealth 
was never considered any reason for foolish extravagance. 
The only change it made in the household was the larger 
indulgence in the blessed privilege of Christian giving, in 
which the children were encouraged to take part. 

" In her sweet home the question was never raised whether 
square dances were right and round dances wrong, because 
dancing was not indulged in at all. Nor whether a game 
of whist was right and other card-playing wrong, because 
cards never found a place in that household. Nor whether 
drinking a glass of wine was a sin or not, because the law 
and the practice of the house was to drink nothing that was 
intoxicating. Nor whether certain plays were moral or 
others immoral, because the theatre was a place not to be 
visited. 

" The object of life was not personal gratification, but to 
do something for God's glory and the good of men. They 
were carefully taught that salvation was through Christ 
alone ; that a true life must be founded on a true faith. A 
happier household it was never my lot to see. To her was 
made good the promise in the Ninety-first Psalm, ' With long 
life will I satisfy her.' 

" She lived to see her children all settled in life, — to 
see two of her sons successful ministers of the blessed 
Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the others serving God in the 
work he has given them to do, — to see all of her many 
grandchildren that were over fourteen years of age members 
of the church." 



116 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

Sunday was a busy day in the Carter household. 
Church and Sunday school morning and afternoon 
filled the daylight hours. All his life he was exceed- 
ingly careful to support the influence of the clergy. 
No word of criticism of sermons ever passed his lips. 
In every sermon he found something good, and he liter- 
ally obeyed Herbert's advice, " Judge not the preacher." 
As twilight came on, all assembled in the sitting-room, 
and exercises of a varied character were begun. Half 
the Assembly's Shorter Catechism was recited on one 
Sunday evening, half on the next; the children were 
questioned about the services of the day, and even 
very little ones encouraged to tell what they remem- 
bered of the sermon ; hymns were repeated in turn, 
and some of the children were very ambitious not to 
recite a hymn that had ever been given in the circle 
before, which involved a good deal of research in 
hymns, ancient and modern. Bible verses were read 
or repeated. 

Mr. Carter's solemn and earnest talks as they sat in 
the quiet room, lighted often only by the open fire, 
can never be forgotten by his children. They will 
carry the impression of them to eternity. One of his 
sons specially remembers a story told on one Sab- 
bath evening of a father who was a godly man, but 
whose children, while loving and dutiful to him, were 
utterly uninterested in the claims of religion. In vain 
he talked with them ; they remained careless and un- 
impressed. One morning he came down to prayers, and 
took up the Bible, but was so overcome by deep feel- 
ing that he could not proceed. The children gathered 
about him. " What is the matter, father , are you ill ? " 
" No, but I have had a terrible dream, and I cannot 
get over the horror of it." " What was it, father ? " 



FAMILY LIFE. 117 

"I dreamed that it was the day of judgment. The 
throne was set, and the books were opened. The dead, 
small and great, were gathered an innumerable multi- 
tude. I stood at the right hand of the Judge ; my be- 
loved wife was at my side. I looked about for my 
children, and I could not see them. I turned to the 
left hand of the Judge, and there stood my beloved 
ones. I beckoned to them ; I called, ' Come over here, 
you are on the wrong side'; but a gesture from the 
Judge held them bound where they stood, while from 
his lips came the words, 'Because I have called and 
ye refused, I have stretched out my hand and no man 
regarded ; but ye have set at naught all my counsel 
and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at 
your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh.' 
The shock of the dream awoke me. my children, 
shall we indeed be separated at the last day ? " " No, 
father, no," they exclaimed, " our father's God shall be 
ours." As he told this story with thrilling voice and 
heartfelt emotion, not one of the little company about 
him but resolved that there should be no separation for 
them from God and heaven and parents at the great 
day, — that they would all meet, — 

" No wanderer lost, — a family in heaven." 

In the early part of 1854, Mr. Carter was greatly in- 
terested in the visit of Dr. Alexander Duff, of India, to 
America, and formed for him a very strong friendship. 
He was perfectly carried away by the fiery eloquence of 
that extraordinary man, of whom it might truly be said, 
"The zeal of thine house has eaten me up." One of his 
illustrations Mr. Carter loved to repeat. Dr. Duff quoted 
with thrilling eloquence an old Jacobite song, in which 
a Highland woman says, — 



118 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

" I hae but ae son, my ain dear Donald, 
Had I ten I wad gie them a' to Charlie, " — 

and then he appealed to Christian mothers to devote 
their sons to the service of a nobler Prince. 

The speeches of Dr. Duff produced a most profound 
impression in America, and caused a great awakening 
of interest for Foreign Missions. On the 13th of May 
he embarked for Liverpool on the steamship " Pacific," 
on which Mr. Carter had also taken passage for himself 
and family. Just before the steamer left the wharf, 
Mr. George H. Stuart, of Philadelphia, in the name of 
a very few American friends, placed in the hands of Dr. 
Duff a draft for five thousand pounds, for the benefit of 
a college the Doctor was founding in Calcutta. 

The ten days' voyage gave opportunity for much de- 
lightful intercourse with Dr. Duff. Mr. Carter, after 
consultation with his fellow passengers, went to the 
captain, and proposed that Dr. Duff should be invited 
to make an address in the cabin every evening during 
the voyage, and the captain courteously and cordially 
agreed, and himself attended the meetings as regularly 
as was possible. One of Mr. Carter's sons overheard a 
gay young passenger saying to a group of his compan- 
ions, " Dr. Duff and that man Carter are bound to get up 
a revival before we get to Liverpool." Nothing would 
have pleased better Dr. Duff or Mr. Carter. The Doc- 
tor gave a most interesting series of lectures on the life 
of Abraham, and the passengers attended with scarcely 
an exception, as did also the sailors who were off duty. 
Dr. Duff suffered terribly from sea-sickness, yet night 
after night tottered into the cabin, hardly able to hold 
himself erect; but in a very short time he forgot all his 
disabilities in the earnestness of his eloquence. He fre- 
quently spoke for two hours, and no one ever wearied. 



JOURNEY TO EUROPE. 119 

The night the "Tacific " reached Liverpool, Dr. Duff was 
in the midst of a lecture, but though he continued to 
speak for half an hour, the captain was the only person 
who left the cabin. This was a remarkable tribute to 
Dr. Duff's eloquence, as several gay young men had 
betted heavily as to which of them should be the first 
to reach shore, and before the Doctor ceased speaking 
the tender left the side of the ship, and all the passen- 
gers had to spend the night on board. 

This journey in Europe in 1854 was a great pleasure 
to Mr. Carter and his family. It is not generally 
thought that a European trip is of much advantage 
for children, and the oldest of these was but fifteen 
years of age ; yet they all felt in after years that these 
months of travel with so capable a leader as their father 
were of more value in their education than years of 
schooling. He was an enthusiastic traveller, seeing 
everything, going everywhere, loving the beautiful in 
nature, revelling in the scenes of history and chivalry 
and verse, full of anecdote and poetry, and almost en- 
cyclopedic in information, which he delighted to im- 
part. His enthusiasm was contagious. No one could 
look in his beaming face without longing to enjoy what 
he enjoyed so much. 

He greatly enjoyed taking his children to the 
scenes of his childhood, and showing them the house 
where he was born, the arbor where he sat with his 
book overlooking the path along which his cousin 
walked to aid him in his studies, the old kirkyard 
where his forefathers slept, the Ehymer's Tower, and 
"the bonnie, bonnie broom of the Cowden Knowes." 
He spent nearly a month in Earlston, and the beau- 
tiful scenery of Berwickshire became very familiar to 
all. Kelso, Melrose, Dry burgh, Abbotsford, were visited 



120 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

repeatedly. Perhaps there was no view that he enjoyed 
more than that from Bemerside Hill, and he loved to 
tell that on Scott's funeral day his favorite horse, led 
riderless in the procession, stopped just where the 
magnificent prospect burst upon the view, showing 
what its master's habit had been. His knowledge 
of and love for poetry were very great, and he seemed 
to have an appropriate quotation for every scene. In 
Melrose Abbey he was greatly impressed with an in- 
scription on an old tombstone, and he often quoted 
it in after years : 

"Earth walks on the earth glittering with gold, 
Earth goes to the earth sooner than it wold, 
Earth builds on the earth castles and towers, 
Earth says to the earth, 'All shall be ours.' " 

At another time he was much struck by an inscription 
on an old sun-dial : 

" I 'm a shadow, — so art thou. 
I mark time, — dost thou ?" 

With one of his sons he at this time made quite an 
extensive tour in the Highlands, a trip which was al- 
ways a vivid memory to the boy. He said long after- 
wards, that no one could know what his father was as 
a traveller until he had him off entirely by himself, 
with no baggage but what could be carried in the 
hand, and no care to burden him. On one occasion 
they travelled all day on the stage-coach going to Inver- 
ness, and on the box-seat sat a stout gentleman with a 
Scotch cap pulled down over his eyes. The next day 
this same gentleman came up to them on the Cale- 
donian Canal boat, and saluted Mr. Carter with a hearty 
greeting. It was Dr. Norman Macleod. " Why, father," 
said the boy, " this gentleman rode with us on the stage- 



MRS. DUNCAN. 121 

coach all day yesterday." Both were greatly disgusted 
to think that they had lost so much valuable time, but 
they made up for it by a day of most enjoyable con- 
verse. Just as they were nearing Oban at night, Dr. 
Macleod exclaimed, "By the way, I had a lady put 
under my charge this morning, with the request that I 
would see after her a little, and I have never thought of 
her all day. I must look her up." Mr. Carter writes 
of this interview, " He was brimful of Celtic lore, and 
gave me many pictures of Highland life." They had 
met before and become well acquainted in New York, 
a short time after the Disruption, when Dr. Macleod 
came into the store with letters of introduction. On 
being asked if he was a Free Churchman, he replied, 
" No, I 'm afraid you will think I am a black sheep." 
But Mr. Carter, though greatly interested in the Free 
Church, knew no narrow lines in his friendships. 
Strong in his own convictions, he always respected 
those of others, and saw very clearly the wide ground 
on which all Christians could meet. 

While in Edinburgh Mr. Carter had much pleasant 
intercourse with Principal Cunningham, and while in 
London with Dr. James Hamilton. Much of his enjoy- 
ment in all his journeys to Europe arose from association 
with men with whom he had long held correspondence. 
In Kelso he again met Mrs. Duncan, who had visited his 
house in New York, and whose Memorial of her daugh- 
ter, Mary Lundie Duncan, he had published, as well as 
several other of her books. 

Mrs. Duncan's first husband had been the Rev. Dr. 
Lundie, a distinguished clergyman of Kelso. After his 
death she had married the Rev. Dr. Duncan, while her 
daughter, Mary Lundie, married his son, also a clergy- 
man. Another daughter married the Rev. Horatius 



122 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

Bonar, D.D., the well known poet, and Mrs. Bonar her- 
self wrote the beautiful hymn — 

" Pass away earthly joy, 

Jesus is mine." 

A few years before, Mr. Carter from his mother-in- 
law's country-house had witnessed the burning of the 
steamboat "Henry Clay" on the Hudson. He told 
Mrs. Duncan that among the passengers was a young 
and lovely American lady, whose body was found with 
the memorial of Mary Lundie Duncan clasped in her 
hands, with her ringer marking the place in the volume 
where she had been reading when the death messenger 
came to her. 

Mrs. Duncan was a lady of remarkable personal 
beauty and stately presence, and her conversation and 
correspondence were greatly valued by Mr. Carter. 
Among the books he published for her was the Memo- 
rial of her son, Eev. George Lundie, missionary to Sa- 
moa. In her book, " Children of the Manse," she gives 
an account of the early training of her children, and 
those who read it will not wonder that such a family 
life as hers resulted in such lives as those of Mary, 
George, and Catharine Lundie. 

An amusing incident of her early married life was 
often related by Mr. Carter. When the Total Abstinence 
movement first began, Mr. Lundie and she became strong 
advocates of the cause. In those days it was the cus- 
tom to give a glass of whiskey in addition to the regular 
pay to any one who came about a house for an odd job ; 
but Mr. and Mrs. Lundie made up their minds that such 
things must be stopped in their house. A man was 
hired to carry in their winter coal, and when the work 
was done Mrs. Lundie told him that the minister had 



WRECK OF THE "ARCTIC." 123 

joined the Temperance Society and had decided that 
there must be no more giving of whiskey in their home. 
" But," said she, " here is sixpence for you, and that will 
be far better for the wife and bairns than that you 
should be drinking whiskey." As he walked down the 
street he met Mr. Lundie, who said, " I suppose my 
wife did not give you any whiskey to-day, Jock." " Na, 
na, sir." "Well, here is a shilling for you, and you'll 
find yourself far better off than if you had had the 
whiskey." Jock took the shilling, and with that and 
Mrs. Lundie's sixpence he got more whiskey than he had 
had in many a day, and came reeling back to the manse, 
where he stood holding on to the front gate, waving his 
hat and shouting, " Mr. Lundie and the Temperance 
Society forever ! Mr. Lundie and the Temperance 
Society forever ! " 

After some months of travel in Great Eritain and on 
the Continent, the party returned to America. They 
had sailed to Europe on the " Pacific," one of the Collins 
line of steamers, and on the voyage Mr. Carter had 
noticed some little incident which he thought betokened 
negligence in the arrangements of the vessel. He had 
almost forgotten the circumstance, and while in London 
he went to the Collins office and chose state-rooms on 
the " Arctic," doing everything but actually engage his 
passage. Suddenly there flashed into his mind a recol- 
lection of the incident, and he decided to take passage 
on the Cunard steamer " Europa," which sailed the same 
week. The " Arctic " was lost on that voyage, and a 
large number of passengers perished. At Halifax the 
" Europa " took on board and carried to Boston the sur- 
vivors of the wreck. After leaving Halifax, a heavy fog 
settled down over the "Europa," just as it had around 
the " Arctic " at the time of the collision which caused 



124 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

her to founder, and it was a most pathetic sight to see 
her rescued passengers peering out into the obscurity 
from the deck of the '■ Europa," and dreading lest they 
might again encounter shipwreck. A few years later, 
the " Pacific " sailed from port and was never heard from 
again. 

When he was leaving home on this voyage to Eu- 
rope, one of his Sunday school teachers came to him 
to talk about a boy in her class who had long been 
very troublesome, and said : " I wish before you go that 
you would dismiss that boy from the school. It is hard 
enough work for us to control him while you are here, 
the only person of whom he stands in awe. When you 
go, he will be unmanageable." Mr. Carter told her that 
he could not take the responsibility of dismissing a boy 
from what was perhaps the only good influence in his 
life. One of the first letters that reached him in Eng- 
land informed him of the death of this boy by drown- 
ing while bathing on Sunday. Over and over again 
in after life he spoke of this, and thanked God that 
he had not turned that boy out of school, as if he 
had done so he should have felt that he had given 
him the opportunity of Sabbath-breaking which led to 
his death. 

On their return to America Mr. Carter's two eldest 
sons, fifteen and fourteen years of age, matriculated at 
the New York University, whence they graduated with 
the first and second honors of their class, in 1858. All 
through their college course Mr. Carter exercised the 
same careful oversight over their studies that he did 
when they were in school, and their young companions 
always had a ready welcome to the house. Hospitality 
was ever one of his most marked virtues. He kept 
open house, and the family were seldom without guests, 



REMOVAL OF BOOKSTORE. 125 

and he made a model host, cordial and hearty, and full 
of chat and anecdote. His conversational powers were 
of a high order, and the table talk and evening gath- 
erings in the parlor were very delightful. He had as 
visitors clergymen from all parts of the world, and 
his children have delightful memories, at a little later 
period, of such men as Bishop Bickersteth, Eev. John 
Ker of Glasgow, Dr. McCosh, Dr. Monod of Paris, Dr. 
Thorn well of South Carolina, and many others. 

In 1856 the bookstore was removed from 285 to 530 
Broadway. He had a lease of the old store, but his land- 
lord, without asking his consent, took away the light 
from the back of the store by building over the skylight, 
and at the same time took away one third of the front 
of the store by building a staircase there. The work 
was begun without giving the slightest notice. When 
he went down to the store one morning, he found the 
books had been taken down from one side of the front, 
and the workmen were starting the new stairway. Ke- 
monstrance was in vain ; the landlord would not give in. 
A lawyer was consulted, who said that the case was a 
clear, though it might be a tedious one. But Mr. Carter 
decided to keep to his old resolution rather to suffer 
wrong than to go to law. He did not wish it said 
that one Christian man was suing another. He im- 
mediately began to look about for a store, and bought 
one on the corner of Broadway and Spring Street. In 
a few years it was worth twice what he paid for it, 
so his peace-loving propensities brought him nothing 
but good. 

The old store at 285 was under the Irving House, 
where a great many colored servants were employed. 
One day the proprietor came to Mr. Carter and told 
him that one of the waiters was a runaway slave, and 



126 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

that he had heard that his master had come to New 
York with a search-warrant, and was expecting to ar- 
rest him and carry him off to the South. Mr. Carter 
gladly contributed towards the poor fellow's travelling 
expenses to Canada, as he had repeatedly done in simi- 
lar cases before. That afternoon the fugitive slave took 
passage on a Hudson Eiver boat for Albany, when, just 
as the boat started, a carriage was driven furiously up, 
and his master with a constable came on board. The 
feeling was so strong against the Fugitive Slave Law 
that the master did not think it best to raise a commo- 
tion on the boat by arresting him at once, but thought 
he would take quiet possession of the man when they 
were disembarking at Albany. The poor slave cowered 
down among some bales in the forward part of the boat, 
and felt that his hour had almost come. Among the 
passengers he noticed a man with a very benevolent 
countenance, and he thought he would throw himself 
upon his protection. He managed to attract the gentle- 
man's attention, and told him his story while his master 
and the constable were amusing themselves in the 
cabin, knowing that the boat did not make any stops 
before reaching Albany, and feeling sure that their 
victim was securely trapped. The kindly man's sym- 
pathies were all aroused by the poor fellow's story, and 
he went to the captain to see what could be done. The 
captain said that it would not do for him to seem to 
take any part in the matter, but that the gentleman 
might tell the slave that when they reached Albany the 
vessel would accidentally touch the pier, and then veer 
off into the stream again, that he must be ready to 
spring for liberty, and that it would then take about 
half an hour to turn the boat and touch the wharf prop- 
erly, and in the mean while the train for Canada would 



FUGITIVE SLAVES. 127 

be off. The programme was fully carried out, the slave 
sprang off and dashed through the crowd at the land- 
ing, and the boat veered off to rectify the captain's un- 
fortunate blunder. The master came up to the captain 
in a towering passion, " Do you see what you have 
done? Your stupidity has allowed my servant to 
escape." " You did not take me into your confidence. 
How did I know you had a servant on board ? If 
you had only told me, I might have had him put in 
irons." The slave-owner had to swallow his wrath, 
and in a few minutes the whistle of the train was 
heard on its way to Canada, bearing with it one man 
who felt that he had a right to " life, liberty, and the 
pursuit of happiness." 

One day a nice-looking colored man, a clergyman, 
came into the store begging money for his church, and 
entered into conversation with Mr. Carter, and told 
him his history. He had been a slave in Kentucky; 
his master was a very hard man, drinking and gam- 
bling. The slave was very fleet of foot, and had won 
prizes for his master at the races. He married a young 
girl on a neighboring plantation, and then, being filled 
with fear lest he should be sold away from her, he went 
to her master, who was a very benevolent man, and 
begged him to buy him, that he might be with his wife. 
The planter bought him, made him his coachman, gave 
him a comfortable little cabin, and for a while he was 
perfectly happy. But one day he was driving out his 
master and a friend, and overheard a conversation in 
which the master said that he was sick of the planta- 
tion life, and had serious thoughts of selling out and 
going North to live. The slave's heart sank within 
him. He had had one bad master, and did not want 
another. 



128 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

He talked the matter over with his wife, and they 
decided that he must take the first opportunity to escape 
to Canada, and then, as soon as he could earn the money, 
he should buy her freedom. A few days after, he was 
sent on an errand to a neighboring town, and embraced 
the opportunity to run away. He got safely to Canada, 
but in a short time he found that he could get higher 
wages at the Cataract House at Niagara ; so he crossed 
the river and took service there, being very anxious to 
buy his wife's liberty as soon as possible. One day as 
he entered the dining-room he saw his master at one 
of the tables. He started back in dismay, hurried out 
of the door, and made his way as quickly as possible 
to the Canada side. His master noticed the confusion, 
and inquired the cause, and found that his former 
slave was in the neighborhood. He sent word to him 
to come and see him, as he wanted to talk with him, 
and he need have no fear of being captured. The 
slave knew that he could fully trust his master's 
honor, and came to see him. The master said to him, 
" Don't you think you have treated me very badly ? 
I only bought you because you pleaded so earnestly 
with me. I did everything I could to make you com- 
fortable, and I thought you were happy and contented." 
" Yes, massa, you were very good to me, and I loved 
you very much." "Why then did you leave me?" 
"Do you remember that day I was driving you with 
Mr. So-and-so, and you said that you were thinking 
of selling out ? " " Yes, I remember, but I did not 
think you heard." " I heard it all, and I felt that I 
could not stay and be sold down the river. Don't 
think me ungrateful, but I felt I must be free." 

They talked for some time, and at last the master 
said, " I think you have talents that would fit you for 



FUGITIVE SLAVES. 129 

preaching to your own people. I will give you free 
papers, and support you while you study for the Meth- 
odist ministry." The next year he came North again, 
bringing the man's wife and little child. He gave them 
all manumission papers, and interested himself for 
them until his death. " Mr. Carter," said the poor 
man the tears rolling down his cheeks, " he was a good 
man, my massa. He was the best man I ever saw in 
my life." 

The former slave was now settled in a little African 
Church in New York. Mr. Carter asked him how he 
was off for books. " That is my worst trouble. I have 
hardly any books. It is like making bricks without 
straw." Mr. Carter laid out a long row of commen- 
taries and other books, and asked him if he had any of 
those. " Not one of them. But, Mr. Carter, I have no 
money, I cannot buy books. The money you have given 
me is for the church." Mr. Carter told him they were 
his as a gift. " O how can I thank you ! I never saw so 
many nice books together in my life." They were made 
up in a huge bundle, and lifted to his shoulder, and Mr. 
Carter said his beaming face, as he went off with his 
load trying to bow his thanks to the very last, was a 
sight to see. He came about the store a good deal 
while he was stationed in New York, but finally re- 
moved to a distant part of the country. 

Mr. Carter was greatly interested in the colored 
race. A colored Sunday school connected with the 
Scotch Church always met with hearty support and 
co-operation from him. His brother Peter was its su- 
perintendent for more than thirty years, and the fam- 
ilies of both brothers were largely represented among 
its teachers. 

One of the oldest members of the Scotch Church and 
9 



130 LIFE OF KOBERT CARTER. 

warmest friends of Mr. Carter was a colored woman 
named Katy Ferguson, born a slave in 1774 When 
she was but four years of age, her mother was sold to 
another master, and torn from her forever. Katy, in 
speaking of this cruel separation long afterwards, said, 
" Mr. B. sold my mother, and she was carried away 
from me ; but I remember that before we parted we 
knelt down, and she laid her hand on my head and 
gave me to God." When Katy was fifteen years old, 
she joined Dr. Mason's church. Some of the members 
objected to having one of her color sit down with them 
at the communion table. Dr. Mason heard of this feel- 
ing, but said nothing until the time of the communion 
service, when he came down from his pulpit, and, pass- 
ing along the aisle to the pew where the trembling 
Katy sat, took her by the hand, and, leading her for- 
ward, said, " Whosoever shall do the will of my Father 
which is in Heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, 
and mother. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into 
one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether 
we be bond or free ; we have been all made to drink 
into one Spirit. Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, 
circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, 
bond nor free; but Christ is all, and in all." And 
seating her at the holy table, which was spread in the 
aisle, and around which according to Scottish custom 
the communicants sat, he said again, as he put into 
her hand the memorials of our Saviour's love, and in 
a tone and manner that filled every heart with deepest 
emotion, " Eat, friend ! drink, yea drink abundantly, 
beloved !" The scene was most affecting and impres- 
sive, and most effectually accomplished the end desired. 
Katy supported herself by making delicate confections 
for dinner and evening parties. She was a woman of 



KATY FERGUSON. 131 

earnest piety. She started the first Sunday school in 
New York, early in the present century, by gathering 
together into her room poor little street waifs, black and 
white, for she had no color prejudice. Hers was also 
the first Children's Aid Society. She picked up from 
the streets at different times forty-eight orphan or des- 
titute children, fed and clothed and educated them to 
the best of her ability with the aid of the public schools, 
until she could find suitable homes for them, or else 
herself trained them to a useful womanhood or man- 
hood. It is said that every one of these children turned 
out well. Of this faithful negro woman it may be said 
truly, " She hath done what she could." 

Mr. and Mrs. Carter frequently visited her in her 
home and helped her in her work. One day when she 
was nearly eighty years of age she called to see Mrs. 
Carter, and seemed greatly exhausted with her long 
walk from her down-town home. When she was leaving, 
Mrs. Carter said, " Don't think of walking home, Katy, 
here is money for your stage fare." " Why, Mrs. Carter, 
they would n't let a colored woman ride in an omnibus." 

A very few weeks later she entered into her eternal 
rest. Doubtless the poor old negro woman, who had 
been grudged a welcome by some professing Christians 
into the church below, and had trudged with weary 
steps along earth's highways, was carried by angels to 
the pearly gates and had an abundant entrance minis- 
tered unto her into the light and glory above. There 
would be no stay in the Master's step to meet her, and 
His " Well done, good and faithful servant ! " was as 
full and hearty to her as to many whom the church 
has honored as its noblest and best. 

In a letter from Mr. Carter to his family, written 
from Charleston, he makes mention of another old col- 



132 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

ored woman in whom he was greatly interested. In 
1855 he went as a delegate to the General Assembly 
at Nashville, Tennessee, visiting on the way at the house 
of a very dear friend, Mr. James McCarter, a bookseller 
of Charleston. The names of the two friends were a 
good deal alike, and their faces were still more so ; in 
fact, they were often told that they looked like twins. 
Mr. Carter writes : — 

" It is now the hour which we usually spend in talk- 
ing of the things that concern our eternal interests. 
How I miss you all now ! It is too much for me to 
think of it ! May God bless you all ! 

" Mr. McCarter took me in the morning to his church, 
where we heard Mr. Jones from Philadelphia. In the 
afternoon I went to Dr. Smyth's church, and heard an 
excellent sermon from the text, ' Unite my heart to fear 
thy name.' O that all our hearts were thus united in 
the fear and love of God ! 

" I then went to the colored Sabbath school, and my 
heart melted within me to see a hundred black chil- 
dren listening to the instructions of their teachers, and 
not any of them with Bible, hymn-book, or text-book 
in their hands. How sad it is that, in this land of 
Sabbaths and Bibles and good books, so large a portion 
of our fellow beings should be deprived of the privi- 
lege of reading God's blessed Book ! The teachers are 
evidently men of God, doing the best they can under 
the circumstances ; but how little fruit can be expected 
where such barriers are thrown up to the free ingress 
of the Gospel ! The mode of instruction is that used 
in infant schools. The teacher puts questions, and all 
answer at once. If they do not know the answer, he 
repeats the words, and they follow. Their singing of 
' The Happy Land ' was beautiful. 



PIOUS OLD COLORED WOMAN. 133 

"An old woman in Mr. McCarter's family was intro- 
duced to me. I asked her how old she was. ' Don't 
know, massa.' ' Do you know the Lord Jesus V ' 
yes, massa, I sleep with Jesus, I walk with Jesus, I eat 
with Jesus, I drink with Jesus. Jesus has promised to 
come soon and take me home.' And then, pressing 
her hands upon her breast, she exclaimed, ' how happy 
I shall be ! ' Mr. McCarter said that grace had done 
more for her than any one he ever knew. 

" my dear children, how much reason have you to 
bless God that you are not placed in the condition of 
slaves ! and yet the poor slave that talked with me to- 
day about the love of Jesus may take a higher place in 
the kingdom of Heaven than some of us. May God 
enable us all to improve our privileges, and while it is 
yet to-day labor in the Lord's vineyard as we have 
opportunity ! 

" There is much here to arrest the attention of a 
Northern man, but I do not wish, on the evening of 
the Lord's day, to speak of things temporal and tran- 
sitory. O that the scenes I have witnessed may make 
me more devoted to the service of the Master than ever 
before ! My mind has been so tossed about and har- 
assed that I cannot attain that blessed peace which I 
have so often enjoyed at home. The Sabbath has been 
for many years so laden with blessings, that when I oc- 
casionally wander abroad I miss exceedingly the quiet 
and peaceful enjoyment which I prize so highly. May 
we remember each other daily at the throne of grace, and 
fervently pray for such blessings as we so much need. 
We can thus help each other mightily, though far sepa- 
rated, and in blessing each other be ourselves blessed. 

" To-morrow at eight we leave for Nashville. I shall 
hope for letters there from you all. Will not that be 



134 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

fine? that I had them now! Farewell, and may 
the Good Shepherd of the sheep watch over, lead, and 
bless us all." 

It may not be amiss to insert here another letter of 
Mr. Carter's, written two years before, while a delegate 
to the Assembly at Philadelphia, as a specimen of Xhe 
letters he constantly wrote to his family when sepa- 
rated from them. On this occasion he had been home 
on furlough over Sabbath, and writes on his return to 
his post : — 

" My dear Wife, — With the tenderest feelings I 
parted from you this morning. The few hours we 
spent together from Saturday evening until I left you 
this morning were hours of as unmingled enjoyment 
as we ever expect to enjoy this side Heaven. Truly, 
our Father has bountifully blessed us. that our 
lives may be wholly consecrated to Him ! 

" The dear children ! I did feel sorry that we had 
not indulged them with a ride this morning, it was so 
fine and clear and mild. May we be enabled to deal 
faithfully with them, and may the Lord and Saviour 
dwell in them richly by his Spirit. to see them 
safe in the ark ! 

" Dear T , you have now reached the age at which 

your father was enrolled a member of the church visible. 
I sat down at the communion table when I was four- 
teen years of age, and the Master whom I have served 
has not been a hard Master. I have reason to bless 
him for the way in which he has led me from that day 
to this. ' Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.' 
delay not ! Pray earnestly that your father's God, the 
God of your mother, may be your own God, and may 
the Comforter manifest Jesus in your heart now and 
forever. 



LETTER TO HIS FAMILY. 135 

" Dear S , what I have said to T is nearly as 

applicable to you. You have grown up together, studied 
together, eaten together, travelled together. He for 
whom you are named is an angel in heaven, and will 
joy over you when you enter in the narrow way that 
leadeth unto life. 

" Dear R , what shall I say to you ? I need not 

ask you if you love your father and mother. I know 
you do. Then, my dear boy, pray to God to bless you, 
and keep you, and lead you in the path your fathers 
trod, that you may when you die enter their bright 
abodes on high. 

" And my dear little daughter, my only daughter, if 
you be as good and happy as your parents pray you 
may be, your portion will be that of those who love 
and serve the Lord. You will do what you can to 
please your papa and mamma, and above all to please 
God. Never forget that God sees you by day and by 
night. And when you pray, ask for his blessing, as 
you would ask mamma for bread when you are hungry, 
or water when you are thirsty. 

" And now, my dear wife and children all, my heart 
yearns over you. May we all be of one heart and of 
one mind, children of the Most High, journeying to our 
home above ! 

" Poor Grandma [Mrs. Thomson], I suppose you think 
it unkind to address you last. But you know the feel- 
ings we all cherish towards you, and it is not so easy 
to admonish one who was in Christ before I was born. 
May your last years be your brightest, your happiest, 
your holiest. Though the earthly spring in which you 
so much delighted be dried up, the Fountain is still 
open. May it refresh you daily ! " 

Mr. Carter's earnest longing for the conversion of his 



136 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

children was early gratified. His oldest son says, that 
when a few years later he told his father that the young- 
est of the family, thirteen years old, wished to unite with 
the church, he burst into joyful tears, exclaiming, " I 
have n't deserved this. How good God is to me, — so 
much better than I deserve ! " He had no greater joy 
than to see his children walk in the truth. In his old 
age he rejoiced with joy unspeakable as one after an- 
other his grandchildren came into the fold. He was 
wont to say, with thanksgiving, that of his twenty- 
five grandchildren all over twelve years of age were 
members of the church, some of them entering into 
communion at a very tender age. 

He was greatly interested in the cause of Total Ab- 
stinence, and took every opportunity to enforce his 
views on this subject. The following stories were 
often told by him in public addresses and in private 
conversations : — 

" When a boy of twelve years, I was in a field a mile 
from home, on a bright October day, helping to gather 
in the potato crop. A man came up to us, and asked 
if we had heard the news. We said no. ' Last night 
on his way home from the fair Eob Scott murdered two 
men without any apparent cause.' In our village there 
were two fairs or great market days in the year. On 
these days the liquor shops were doing a great business, 
and men who were sober all through the year became 
intoxicated. Eob Scott was of this number. He had 
tasted whiskey only once before in his life, and that 
fatal night he overtook two men walking peacefully 
home, and in a frenzy knocked down one and then the 
other, and ran to a cottage a short distance off and cried 
aloud, ' I have killed two men down on the road.' He 
was known by the family, as he lived only a half-mile 



TEMPERANCE STORIES. 137 

from the spot, and they said, ' You are crazy, it cannot 
be so.' 'It is so. Go and see.' They went and found 
the two men. One of them said, ' I am Simm, from 
Greenlaw.' The murderer ran thirty miles that night, 
to Berwick. The whole country was quickly roused, 
and next day he was arrested and carried to the Jed- 
burgh jail. He was tried and condemned to die on the 
spot where the fearful crime was committed. Thou- 
sands came to witness the execution. I was in that 
crowd. At a turn of the road I was within a few feet 
of him, and such a haggard face I never saw. It haunted 
me for many a year. When on the scaffold, he in a 
loud voice that was heard by thousands prayed for 
mercy, — that he might be delivered from bloodguilti- 
ness, — prayed for the widows whom he had made wid- 
ows, and for the children whom he had made fatherless. 
I never heard such earnest pleading, and I never for- 
got it. 

" The poor man had been visited by several clergymen, 
one of whom preached from the text, ' It is a faithful 
saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ 
came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the 
chief.' This made a deep impression on his mind, and 
he was hopefully converted. The lesson I learned 
from Eob Scott's sad story never has been forgotten. 
I dreaded the taste, or even the touch, of the insidious 
poison, and long before I had even heard of a temper- 
ance society I labored to save my young friends from 
the use of ardent spirits. After I entered into business 
in New York, many of the Scottish immigrants on 
landing called on me, and I used to urge them to sign 
at once the temperance pledge, and many of them did 
so. Others declined, and alas ! many went to the 
drunkard's grave/' 



138 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

" One day a carriage came to the door of my shop, 
and a lady stepped out, and came up to me and took me 
by the hand, and asked, ' Do you not know me ? ' I said, 
' No.' ' You and I were schoolmates : don't you remem- 
ber Jean ? ' At once I recognized her. She was 

the daughter of the hardest man in my native village. 
He was profane and intemperate, and his poor wife and 
children had a hard time with him. He took the dead 
from their graves, and sold them to the surgeons for 
dissection. On one occasion his poor wife went into 
the barn after dark and touched a dead man's hand, 
and she became a raving maniac. She was sent to Bed- 
lam, where she died. His daughter Jean escaped from 
her miserable home, came to New York, and after some 
time married a young German mechanic, who rose to be 
a prosperous merchant in a large city in the interior, 
where she had a happy home. She wanted to purchase 
McCheyne's works for a gift to a friend. While I was 
conversing with Jean, a miserable-looking young man 
entered the store. He had neither hat, shoes, nor stock- 
ings. One of my clerks went to him and asked him to 
go out ; but he said he was very desirous to see me. I 
went to him and inquired what he wanted. He told 
me he was the son of a parish minister in Scotland 
whom I well knew, and that he was starving and al- 
most naked. While I was talking with him, an elder 
of our church entered, and I asked whether he could 
give him something to do. He employed a large num- 
ber of men, and, after talking with him, he said, ' Come 
to-morrow morning to my shop, and I will give you 
something to do,' and gave him his address. The young 
man promised to go. I then got him some clothing, and 
gave him money to get underclothing, and he left me. 
Next day at twelve o'clock the elder came and told me 



SHARON SPRINGS. 139 

that the poor creature had not come. After five months 
he came again in as bad a plight as before, and I asked 
why he had not gone to the shop as he had been invited. 
He said he could not pass a grog-shop without a glass, 
and he went in and drank till the money I gave him was 
gone. I tried to reason with him, told him he had a 
good education and good example in his father's house. 
He said, ' You are mistaken ; I was not well educated. 
We had whiskey at table in my father's house every 
day, and I learned to love it then.' 

" Here was a striking contrast. The daughter of a 
wretched father and the son of a leading clergyman 
had changed places, and what a change ! How many 
since that time have I seen swept into the vortex of 
destruction by this horrid vice ! 0, what heaps of 
slain call out for vengeance on us ! And yet the giddy 
dance of death goes round." 

In the summer of 1855 Mr. Carter went for the first 
time to Sharon Springs, New York. In this place he 
spent six summers, attracting there relatives and friends 
till there was often a party of sixty or seventy which 
gravitated round him as a centre. The society was 
delightful. There were always a good many clergymen 
in the house, sometimes eight or nine at a time, — Rev. 
Drs. Krebs, Nicholas Murray, Cleveland, and his own 
beloved pastor Dr. McElroy ; Mr. Chauncey Goodrich 
and Prof. 0. M. Mitchell, the eminent astronomer, were 
friends with whom he there had most delightful com- 
munion. Archbishop Hughes of the Roman Catholic 
Church was there one summer, and they had much 
pleasant intercourse with each other, talking over 
things ancient and modern. They found much com- 
mon ground, but did not hesitate to discuss amicably 
controverted points, such as Pascal and the Port Roy- 



140 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

alists. They both regarded Milton and Young as favor- 
ite poets, and were drawn together by a fellow feeling 
in that respect. 

A short time before, there had been a very "ani- 
mated" correspondence between the Archbishop and 
Dr. Nicholas Murray (Kirwan) in the public press, and 
it was rather strange that they should be spending 
some weeks at the same hotel. They did not seek each 
other's society, and Dr. Murray was a wee bit scandal- 
ized that Mr. Carter should be so intimate with the 
prelate. 

When Mr. Carter first went to Sharon, there was no 
church in the place, and services were held in the par- 
lors of the different hotels. He became a sort of ruler 
in the synagogue, arranging that such services should be 
held with the utmost regularity Sunday morning and 
evening, seeing that the chosen parlor was got ready, 
arranging that a minister should always be provided, 
seating the congregation, and having everything done 
decently and in order. There was always the best of 
preaching from some of the most prominent clergymen 
in the country. After a time churches were built and 
services kept up the year round. 

While at Sharon, in June, 1859, Mr. Carter received 
a letter from Dr. J. H. Thornwell of Columbia, South 
Carolina, with whom he had long been on terms of in- 
timacy. It gave an account of the sudden death of his 
daughter on the eve of her marriage. The letter was so 
remarkable that Professor Mitchell asked to be allowed 
to read it on Sunday evening at a religious service in 
the parlor of the hotel. Two years later Dr Thornwell 
and Professor Mitchell were prominent leaders in the 
great struggle between the North and the South. Both 
passed from earth in the heat of the conflict, and met 



DR. THORNWELL. 141 

in the better country where all is peace. Dr. Thorn- 
well's letter is as follows : — 

Theological Seminary, June 27, 1859. 
My dear Friend : — 

I have just received your kind and cordial letter of Chris- 
tian sympathy, and as the subject is one upon which I take 
a melancholy pleasure in dwelling, I proceed at once to 
answer your tender and affectionate inquiries. You may re- 
member that I told you of her approaching wedding. She 
was to have been married on the 15th instant, to a young 
man eminently worthy of any heart or any hand. I reached 
home on the morning of the 9th, and found her in bed with 
a raging fever. She had then been sick two days. Her 
symptoms appeared to me unfavorable, and I called in two 
other physicians. The next day I became alarmed, and 
on Friday gave her to understand that her case was critical. 
She was not at all disconcerted ; she assured me that her 
peace was made with God ; that though she had many earthly 
ties, and some of them very tender, there was nothing that 
she loved in comparison with the Lord Jesus Christ, and 
nothing that she was not ready to sacrifice at his call. She 
called all the family to her bedside, united in prayer with 
them, and gave to each a parting benediction. The scene 
was sublime beyond description. To see a young girl, 
elegant, accomplished, and highly esteemed, with the most 
flattering prospects in life, just upon the eve of her marriage 
with one whom she devotedly loved, resign all earthly hopes 
and schemes and joys with perfect composure, and welcome 
death as the voice of one supremely loved, was a spectacle 
that none who witnessed can ever forget. It was grand, it 
was even awful. It impressed some who were in the room 
in a way they were never impressed before, and I felt more 
like adoring God for the wondrous triumph of His grace 
than weeping for my own loss. After this scene she rallied, 
and the next day the physicians thought that there was a fair 



142 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

prospect of her recovery. When it was announced to her 
that she might yet get well, she said that she wished to have 
no choice in the matter; all that she desired was that God 
might be glorified, whether by her life or her death. For 
the sake of others she might desire to live, but upon the 
whole she would prefer, if it was the Lord's will, to depart 
and be with Jesus. She spent the whole day in listening to 
the Scriptures, and conversing with me about the condition 
of the soul after death. She was perfectly calm and col- 
lected, and what she said was the deliberate utterance of 
faith, and not the language of excitement. 

Before the last hour came she had a momentary conflict, 
but gained a glorious victory, and her joys were irrepressible ; 
she threw her arms around my neck, and told me that her 
happiness was beyond expression ; she felt the presence of 
Jesus, and rejoiced in him with joy inexpressible and full of 
glory. It was a glorious death, a triumphal procession. 
What makes the whole matter more consoling is, that there 
had been for months a marked and rapid progress in divine 
things. She had been much in prayer, and as a proof of her 
intense spirituality she has left behind her a paper contain- 
ing her reflections and feelings and purposes in the prospect 
of her marriage, and all bespeak the condition of one whose 
eye was single to the glory of God. It is a precious docu- 
ment, absolutely amazing for her years. Two days before 
she was taken sick, she had been on a visit to some friend in 
Sumter, and upon her return spoke to her mother of the 
delightful communion she had enjoyed with God in prayer. 
The Master was evidently maturing her for Heaven. The 
family has been amazingly sustained. The truth is, we dare 
not murmur. The grace has been so transcendent that it 
would be monstrous to repine. I feel my loss, for I loved 
her very tenderly ; but I bless God for what my eyes have 
seen, and my ears heard. We have been afraid to grieve, 
the triumph was so illustrious. My second daughter is 
a professor of religion, and I think a true child of God. 



DR. THORNWELL. 143 

My boys are still out of the ark. Pray for us, my dear 
friend, especially pray that I may have no unconverted child. 
The event has been greatly sanctified to me and my wife. 
God grant that we may never grow faint. I never relax my 
hold upon the covenant. Jesus has been more precious to 
me than I have felt him for a long time, and the Gospel 
more glorious. Henceforth I am bound, I trust, for eternity. 
I want to live only for the glory of God. Pray for me and 
mine. The Lord bless you, and reward you for your kind 
and Christian sympathies. 

As ever yours, 

J. H. Thornwell. 



CHAPTER VI. 

A CAUSE very dear to Mr. Carter's heart was that 
of the Bible Society. He writes in 1884: "In 
1856 I was elected a manager of the American Bible 
Society, and shortly after a member of the Committee 
of Publication. It was my great delight to meet 
with the noble men who constituted the Board of the 
Society at that time. Most of them were silver-headed 
and prominent men. Governor Bradish was President 
of the Society, and was a most graceful presiding officer. 
James Lenox, Dr. Allen, President of the Girard Col- 
lege, and Dr. S. Wells Williams, have since occupied 
that position. The work of the Society has greatly 
increased. Its issues amount to a million and a half 
volumes annually. I have been on the Committee of 
Publication for twenty-eight years, and there has not 
been the slightest friction among us. One after an- 
other has passed away, and now I am alone. A new 
generation has occupied the place of those who sat 
with me when I first entered. And now my work is 
nearly done." 

In 1878 he was made one of the Vice-Presidents. 
He was regular in his attendance at the meetings of 
his committee, until the very last months of his life. 
It was often remarked by him, with great pleasure, 
that there were as many Bibles printed in three years 
of the present decade as were made in the first eigh- 
teen centuries of the Christian era. 



PEINCETON SEMINARY. 145 

One of the closest friendships of his life was with 
another of the Vice-Presidents of the Society, A. R. 
Walsh, Esq., who was also an honored elder in the 
Scotch Church. He was a man of noble and generous 
character, "graced with polished manners and fine 
sense," a thorough Christian gentleman. Their friend- 
ship was so close that they were often compared to 
David and Jonathan. Their duties in the eldership 
and other Christian work often brought them together 
several times a week, and the children of both families 
were often amused to note that after a meeting Mr. 
Walsh would accompany Mr. Carter to his door, and 
then Mr. Carter would see Mr. Walsh home, and then 
both would walk to a corner half-way between the two 
houses, and stand talking together until they reached 
a point where it seemed possible to them to break off 
their conversation. It was a great trial to both when 
Mr. Walsh removed, in his last days, to Stamford, 
Connecticut, but even separation did not cool their 
friendship, which burned with unabated ardor till 
death parted them. 

William Henry Green, D.D., of Princeton, writes : — 

"Mr. Carter was elected by the General Assembly in 
1856 a member of the Board of Directors of Princeton 
Seminary, and he served faithfully in that capacity to the 
end of his life. It was part of his duty to attend the ex- 
aminations from time to time. He always manifested a 
deep interest in the Seminary, even after his physical weak- 
ness prevented him from attending the meetings of the 
Board. He was at the time of his death the oldest member 
of the Board, and the one who had been longest in service. 
He established three prizes for excellence in Old Testament 
studies, which have been given annually since 1879 to the 
three students of the Seminary who prepared the best theses 

on some assigned subject. 

10 



146 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

" Let me take this opportunity to express my personal 
grief, as well as my deep sense of the loss sustained by this 
Seminary and by the Church at large in his death. He was 
for thirty-three years a Director of this Seminary, and there 
was no one whose counsel and friendship were more highly 
prized. His wide influence as a Christian publisher has 
been extensively and powerfully felt for good, and will con- 
tinue long after he has entered upon his reward. In all the 
spheres of Christian evangelical effort in which he held so 
conspicuous a place he will be sadly missed. My own past 
intercourse with him is one of the delightful memories 
which I shall continue to cherish." 

Another member of the Board, Eev. W. C. Cattell, 
D.D., thus writes : — 

" Yes, I loved and honored Robert Carter. It is a delight 
to me to recall his precious memory. Though much younger 
than he I was next him in seniority among the directors of 
Princeton Theological Seminary. We were associated in the 
Board nearly thirty years. It was always like a benediction 
to look upon his face, dear precious blessed man. Few men 
have I loved so much, and so did all love him who knew 
him. ,, 

Mr. Carter was one of the founders, in 1857, of the 
New York Sabbath Committee, a society which has 
done a great work for the consecration of our Chris- 
tian Sabbath. For years he did yeoman's service in 
this admirable institution, and at his death left but 
one survivor of the original Committee. 

Indeed, it would be a difficult matter to give a list 
of all the benevolent institutions to which he belonged. 
A year or two before his death, one of his grandchil- 
dren jocosely remarked, " It seems to me Grandpa at- 
tends an annual meeting of some society every week 



EUROPE IN 1861. 147 

in his life." He gave to each earnest thought and lib- 
eral hand. Giving was to him one of the sweetest 
pleasures in life. He valued money, not for what it 
was, but for what it could do. He had to be a very- 
undeserving petitioner whom he refused. The wonder 
was that he could grow in wealth, but *' there is that 
scattereth and yet increaseth." In his business, it was 
often said of him that he would rather give away his 
books than sell them, and only those who were con- 
stantly with him knew how perpetual was the giving 
out. It was no bare gift that he gave, for the giver 
always went with it in kindly love and sympathy. 
Those who saw what he gave would suppose he was 
a man of great wealth; those who noticed his man- 
ner of living would have thought him a man in lim- 
ited circumstances, though he was always ready for 
any necessary expense. He was never of those who 
think that generosity consists in spending liberally on 
one's self. 

In 1861 his two elder sons graduated from Princeton 
Seminary. As the eldest was just twenty-two, he felt 
that they were too young to take up a pastoral charge, 
so he decided to take all his family to Europe, where 
they travelled for fifteen months. It was a most de- 
lightful tour, the only drawbacks being the constant 
anxiety caused by the war of the Eebellion in America, 
news of which was eagerly watched for, and the severe 
illness of his eldest son in Germany from Syrian fever, 
contracted while on a tour through the Holy Land. 
Several months of 1861 were spent in Scotland, where 
his sons attended classes at the Divinity Schools of the 
Free and United Presbyterian Churches in Edinburgh. 
On this trip Mr. Carter had even more delightful inter- 
course than before with clerical and other friends in 



148 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

Ireland and Scotland. Dr. Hall in Dublin, Dr. Cooke 
and Dr. McCosh in Belfast, Drs. Macleod and Mac- 
duff in Glasgow, and Drs. Guthrie, Candlish, Cunning- 
ham, John Brown, M.D., and many others in Edinburgh, 
extended the most cordial hospitality, and did every- 
thing that was possible to make his stay among them 
delightful. A large circle of friends gathered about 
him in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and his exceedingly 
social nature wa3 gratified by the refined and intel- 
lectual society of the Scottish cities. 

The family arrived in Glasgow on a Saturday, and on 
Sunday morning all desired to hear Dr. Norman Mac- 
leod. As Mr. Carter was not very sure of the locality 
of the Barony Church, he stopped a tall, stout gentle- 
man at the corner, and inquired the way. He was be- 
ginning very courteously to give the necessary directions, 
when Mr. Carter exclaimed, "Why, Dr. Macleod !" 
" Why, Mr. Carter ! " It was indeed the great preacher 
himself, who was on his way to exchange with a min- 
ister at Kelvin Grove; so if the party had not thus 
accidentally met him, they would have had their long 
walk to the Barony Church only to encounter disap- 
pointment. They turned about and accompanied Dr. 
Macleod to Kelvin Grove, where they heard from him 
a sermon he had preached a week or two before to the 
Queen at Balmoral. The next day he spent the entire 
morning with his American friend, talking over matters 
of Church and State that were of great interest to all. 
After this they met repeatedly, Dr. Macleod on one 
occasion coming to Edinburgh on purpose to spend the 
day with Mr. Carter. On another occasion Dr. McCosh 
came from Ireland for the same purpose. 

There was no one in Edinburgh with whom Mr. 
Carter had so much delightful intercourse as with Dr. 



DR. GUTHRIE. 149 

Guthrie. His wonderful geniality, his extraordinary 
conversational powers, were as remarkable as his great 
pulpit eloquence. His church was always so crowded 
that it was impossible for strangers to get admittance 
save by ticket, but Dr. Guthrie gave Mr. Carter a per- 
manent order for admission, and he and his family at- 
tended Free St. John's more than any other church in 
Edinburgh. 

Mr. Carter gives the following account of a delightful 
trip on the Continent with Dr. Guthrie's family. 

" In August, one morning, I was leaving our lodgings, 
when I saw Dr. Guthrie and his son David approaching. 
They said they were going to the Evangelical Alliance 
in Geneva on the following Monday, and had come to 
bid me good by. They spread their map on my table, 
and showed me their plan and route. The Doctor then 
turned to me and asked, ' Can you go with us ? ' My 
wife joined them in urging me to go, and I went. We 
reached Paris on Tuesday evening. There were ten of 
us in all ; most of them were of Dr. Guthrie's family. 
A more delightful company 1 never met. We were 
seated at the tea-table in the hotel, when a gentleman 
came behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. It 
was Dr. Macduff, author of many delightful books 
which I had published. I looked at him, and he said, 
1 My wife is here, and would like to see you.' He 
showed me his route, and I said I would diverge from 
the Guthrie plan for two or three days and go with him. 
Dr. Burns, brother of Mrs. Guthrie, and late Moderator 
of the General Assembly, also went with us, as it would 
give us an opportunity of seeing Basle and Zurich. I 
had thus the pleasure of becoming better acquainted 
with Dr. Macduff, who proved a most charming com- 
panion. After parting from him we rejoined the Guthrie 



150 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

party, and spent a night at Chur, the birthplace of Dr. 
Schaff. We then crossed the Alps by the Splugen Pass, 
and made our way to Milan, where we saw the finest 
Gothic cathedral in the world. Thence we went to 
Venice, and the Doctor selected for our guide an Ameri- 
can who had been our representative in Trieste, but 
had been displaced, and as war was raging at home he 
went to Venice to act as guide to English and American 
travellers. We were so much pleased with him, and 
felt so much sympathy with him, that on parting we 
made up a purse for him. In our return to Switzerland 
we had passed the night in a diligence, and at break of 
day we alighted to walk a little. There were some 
Italians — Waldenses going to the Alliance — pacing 
along with us. The Eev. Mr. Eevell was among them, 
and as I had met him in New York we were very glad 
to meet again. He was engaged at that time in print- 
ing the Italian Bible, and the American Bible Society 
furnished the money for it. As I was on the Publi- 
cation Committee of the Bible Society he was glad to 
report progress. 

" At the meeting in Geneva I met Ce'sar Malan, who 
kissed me on both cheeks. I invited him to dine with 
me, and he gave some account of his work. He was 
old, and much discouraged. I felt a warm sympathy 
with him. He did a good work. Merle d'Aubignd, 
whose History I had reprinted, received me also very 
affectionately, and introduced me to F. W. Krummacher, 
for whom he acted as interpreter. One evening Dr. 
Guthrie delivered a lecture, and at the close his daugh- 
ter said to me, ' There are two daughters of Edward 
Bickersteth here who have been parted from their es- 
cort. I will introduce you to them. Perhaps you will 
be pleased to accompany them to the entertainment in 



EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE. 151 

the Park.' 'I shall be delighted to do so/ I found 
theui charming company. They gave me an account 
of the last hours of their dear father, whom I used to 
think of as the beloved disciple, so meek, so gentle, so 
lovely. I little thought that a few years later I should 
publish ' Yesterday, To-day, and Forever,' the delightful 
work of their brother, and one of the most popular vol- 
umes I have ever issued. I was glad to be introduced 
to Tholuck, the Monods, and other celebrities of France 
and Germany. Dr. Baird was the only American there 
that was with me at the great Evangelical Alliance 
meeting in London in 1846, fifteen years before. 

" After the meeting, our party went to Visp, the Gor- 
ner Grat, and Zermatt. We had a snowball party on the 
Gorner Grat, 10,000 feet high, while the valleys below 
were excessively hot. We saw the sun set on Monte 
Eosa, and the scene around was the most magnificent I 
ever saw. The good Doctor had some of the most sub- 
lime bursts of eloquence amid those glorious mountains. 
0, it was good indeed to be with him ! " 

Mr. Carter used often to relate the following inci- 
dents of this trip. 

On one occasion Dr. Guthrie was about to cross a 
little foot-bridge which he thought of doubtful sound- 
ness. He had forgotten the German for " safe," so he 
asked the guide in French, but he shook his head ; then 
he asked him in English, with no better success. " I am 
going to try him with Scotch," exclaimed the Doctor. 
" Is 't siccar, man ? " " Ah, ja, ja, siccar ! " responded he 
at once. 

When they were crossing the Austrian frontier in 
going to Venice, the official who examined the passports 
was puzzled by Dr. Guthrie's, on which were included 
the names of his party of eight, and, after trying in 



152 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

vain to comprehend it, he lost patience, and threw it on 
the ground. Dr. Guthrie drew himself up to the full 
height of his commanding figure, and, shaking his long 
forefinger at the man, he exclaimed, " If you treat me 
with indignity, Queen Victoria w T ith a hundred thousand 
men will put me right." The man did not understand 
a word that was said, but he could appreciate the atti- 
tude and gesture of the great orator, and he stooped 
very meekly and picked up the passport ; the Guthrie 
party was set in a row, and the individuals pointed out 
in connection with their names on the paper, and the 
matter was soon straightened out. " Now, Mr. Carter, 
it 's your turn. You '11 have to stand fire," cried the 
Doctor. But Mr. Carter had no one but himself on the 
passport, so that there was no complication. The offi- 
cial glanced at it, attached his vise, and handed it back 
with a polite bow. "What's the meaning of this?" 
exclaimed Dr. Guthrie. " Oh," said Mr. Carter, " my 
honest face always carries me through." 
To return to Mr. Carter's own narrative : — 
" After our return to Edinburgh I invited Dr. Guthrie 
and his family to tea. When the door bell rang, I went 
to the head of the stairs to receive the company. After 
entering the door, Dr. Guthrie looked up to where I 
stood, and said, ' I have brought you an old friend 
whom you will be glad to see, Principal Cunningham.' 
The latter had just returned to the city that day, and 
had gone to see Dr. Guthrie, who told him, ' We are 
going to Mr. Carter's to-night; will you go with us?' 
That was the most delightful evening I spent in Edin- 
burgh. The feast of reason and the flow of soul enrap- 
tured us all. We remember it the more vividly, as it 
was the last time we saw Dr. Cunningham in good 
health. He called on me afterwards, but he was un- 



DR. JOHN BROWN. 153 

strung and not like himself. A few days later I saw 
him at his house, but he was very low. I was there 
again, but did not see him. He was within ten hours 
of his last. He was an instrument of great good to his 
beloved country. 

"One of the most interesting friends I met at this 
time was the gifted John Brown, the author of ' Eab 
and his Friends.' He took me into some of the 
queerest nooks of the Old Town, and threw a halo 
around them by his illustrations of ' The Heart of 
Midlothian,' old Davie Deans and his daughter Jeanie, 
Holyrood, the Castle, and other scenes famous in an- 
cient story. He took me to the home of his vener- 
able father, Eev. Dr. John Brown of Edinburgh, who 
had recently passed away, and showed me his valu- 
able library, which was to be given to the Theological 
Seminary of the United Presbyterian Church. He took 
up an old Greek Testament, and told me the story 
connected with it. His ancestor, John Brown of Had- 
dington, — one of the fathers of the Secession Church, 
the author of the Concordance that bears his name, and 
many other useful works, not the least the Catechism 
which has been studied by tens of thousands of children 
in Scotland and America, and the Self-interpreting 
Bible, which is yet an heirloom in many Scottish fami- 
lies, — was in early years a shepherd among the uplands 
of Scotland. He was fond of study, and in his spare 
hours had acquired some knowledge of Latin and Greek. 
He was anxious to procure a Greek Testament, and got 
some one to take his place for a day while he walked 
twenty-four miles to a town where he knew there was 
a bookstore. He walked all night, and reached the 
place where the store was, and was standing in front of 
it when the owner came and opened the door. He had 



154 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

his shepherd plaid around him, and looked very unlike 
a student. He inquired for a Greek Testament. He 
was asked if he wanted it for himself, and he answered, 
' Yes.' ' If you will read me a verse or two, I will give 
you the book for nothing.' He read and translated, and 
the astonished bookseller gave him the book. Mr. 
Brown told me that there were six John Browns, all 
eldest sons, in regular succession, he being the fifth, and 
his son the sixth. The first was a custom weaver, and 
from him had descended a noble line of illustrious 
men. When I was leaving Edinburgh, John Brown 
was one of the last from whom I parted. A short time 
before his death, he sent me a loving message through 
my dear friend, Dr. Cuyler, who spent some happy 
hours with him. 

" There were two brothers, William and David Dick- 
son, of whom I have many pleasant memories. David 
was the City Treasurer of Edinburgh. He reminded 
me often of Apollos R Wetmore, of New York. His 
life was consecrated to the good of his fellow men. He 
took me with him to the Magdalen Asylum, which he 
visited weekly. I addressed the poor women a number 
of weeks in succession. I never saw a more attentive 
audience. They were melted to tears. Such weeping 
overcame me, and I wept with them. We implored the 
blessing from on high, and it came. The dear Lord 
sought the lost, and found them there. At New Year 
the city authorities gave them a supper, to which I 
was invited. I addressed them very briefly, but as I 
was about to leave Edinburgh it was a parting address. 
After I sat down, I whispered to Mr. Dickson that I 
wished to retire. He said he would accompany me. 
When we reached the door I looked back and made a 
bow to them. They involuntarily rose in a mass and 



IN SCOTLAND. 155 

made a courtesy. It was a touching sight, and it was 
the last. After my return to New York I received a 
letter from them signed by all save five, whose names 
were written for them by the matron, thanking me for 
my interest in them. A letter came also, asking me if 
I could find Christian homes for them in our city. 
There had been a great work of grace there, and they 
were anxious to save the poor women from falling back 
into their old ways. I advised them to send them to 
Canada, and secure to them homes among the Scotch 
farmers there. They did so, and the result was most 
favorable. Many were plucked as brands from the 
burning." 

Mr. Carter spent a month in his beloved Earls ton, 
the place of his birth, and greatly enjoyed reviving old 
scenes and memories. He inquired of his old weaver 
friend what had become of the set of Eollin with 
which he had the adventure with the mad dog. He 
said that he would gladly have given him the book, but 
he had parted with it only the year before. A neigh- 
bor's family had gone to Australia, and he had given 
them Rollin to beguile the tedium of the long voyage. 
Mr. Carter was greatly disappointed, as he would have 
valued the old book very highly. 

Mr. Carter's sons preached in the church of their 
forefathers. He greatly enjoyed the beautiful drives 
in lovely Berwickshire and the neighboring counties. 
One day he went to Kelso and saw Mrs. Duncan, his 
dear old friend. He also called on Dr. Horatius Bo- 
nar, but was told that Dr. Andrew Bonar was on a 
visit to his brother, and the two had gone to spend 
the day at Flodden Field; so he missed seeing them 
together, though he saw both afterwards in Glasgow 
and Edinburgh. 



156 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

In October, two delightful trips were made to the 
Scottish Highlands and English Lakes. A Sunday was 
spent near Balmoral, where the family attended service 
at Crathie, in the church in which the Queen worships 
when at the Highlands. They were seated in the gal- 
lery directly opposite the royal party, which consisted 
of the Queen and Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales, 
Princess Alice with her betrothed Prince Louis of 
Hesse, the Duke of Argyle, and a number of distin- 
guished men. Dr. Stuart of St. Andrew's Church, 
Edinburgh, preached. Just as the service began, he 
found to his dismay that he had left his manuscript 
at his lodgings, and was obliged to preach a discourse 
which he had recently given to his own people, and 
which was fresh in his mind. It was a very earnest 
sermon on " Prepare to meet thy God," and so impressed 
the mind of Prince Albert that he asked the preacher 
to lend him the manuscript, that he might read it over. 
This was but a short time before the Prince's death. 
A few weeks later, Mr. Carter saw him lay the foun- 
dation of a new post office in Edinburgh in a severe 
storm, in which he caught the cold that led to his 
death. 

About this time occurred the Trent affair, which at 
one time seriously threatened a war between England 
and America. Some of Mr. Carter's Scotch friends 
were a good deal shocked to hear him declare that, dear 
as was the land of his birth, the land of his adoption 
claimed his allegiance, and in case of war he must im- 
mediately return to America. He tried in every way 
to study the things that make for peace, to pour oil on 
the troubled waters. At several public meetings he 
pleaded with the Christian people to use their influ- 
ence to preserve the peace between Christian nations. 



PROFESSOR MITCHELL. 157 

On one such occasion the whole audience rose to their 
feet, exclaiming, " No war with America." Dr. Nor- 
man Macleod wrote a paper for one of the magazines 
in which he urged a peace policy, and shortly after 
showed Mr. Carter a note from the Queen's secretary, 
signed by her Majesty, in which she expressed her 
pleasure at the tone of the article. 

On New Year's day, 1862, Mr. Carter was invited to 
address Dr. Guthrie's ragged schools at their festival. 
He was in the midst of his speech, and was giving an 
account of the career of his friend, Gen. O. M. Mitchell, 
the distinguished astronomer, when Dr. Guthrie himself 
entered the hall, and was received by the children 
with heartfelt applause. Dr. Hanna, colleague of Dr. 
Guthrie and son-in-law and biographer of Dr. Chal- 
mers, whispered, " Mr. Carter, I wish you would begin 
that story over again, I want Dr. Guthrie to hear it." 
The story is given here as Mr. Carter told it. 

" In the summer of 1860 I visited Sharon Springs. 
One of the first to welcome me was a bright, noble 
gentleman, whom I knew by reputation, though I had 
never spoken to him before. We took a walk into the 
woods together, and had a delightful conversation. 
While we were gazing at the lovely scene before us, 
he turned to me and said, ' Could we not have a daily 
prayer meeting here ? ' I said I would be glad if we 
could, After discussing this matter for some time, we 
descended the hill and met some of the visitors, to 
whom we spoke of our plan ; but the bathing interfered 
with it, and we had to give it up. This talk drew me to 
him tenderly, and I found a kindred spirit with whom 
I could commune lovingly. One evening we withdrew 
into a quiet place, where he gave me his history. I 
shall give it as nearly as I can in his own words. 



158 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

" I was born in Kentucky. My father died before I 
was three years old, and my mother when I was seven. 
To her I owe much, though she was taken so early from 
me. Some friends took me to Central Ohio and inden- 
tured me to a saddler to learn his trade. I had to 
split the wood, to kindle the fire, to cook the victuals, 
to wash the dishes, to sweep the house, and do every- 
thing that was needed. I had little time to learn the 
trade. But as I was a poor orphan, I bore all patiently 
and did the best I could. One day the mistress said 
to me, ' Go and split the wood for the fire in the morn- 
ing.' I did so, and returned. ' Did I not tell you to 
go and split the wood ? ' she said. '. Yes, ma'am, and I 
have done it.' ' You have not done it,' she said. I left 
the room and went into the shop, and said, • I am going 
to leave you, sir.' ' What 's the matter ? ' 'I could 
live very happily with you, sir, but I cannot live with 
mistress. She has charged me with lying. My dear 
mother taught me never to be so mean as to tell a lie.' 
' Well, go,' said he, ' you will soon be back.' I went to 
my room, tied my little all in my handkerchief, and 
went out into the street. I saw at a little distance a 
man with a team. I went up to him, and asked where 
he was going. ' To Cincinnati,' said he. ' Will you 
take me with you ? ' ' You cannot go,' said he ; ' on 
the corduroy roads you would be shaken to pieces.' 
' If you will take me, I will go. T will ride the off 
horse, will run errands, and do anything I can.' ' Well, 
come along.' We were five days on the road ; but he 
was kind, and aided me when we reached our destina- 
tion in finding a good home, and work which I could 
do. The people with whom I lived were poor, but kind, 
and I was happy. After the labors of the day I used 
to lie down on the hearth, knock the nose off a pine 
log, and read and study. 



PROFESSOR MITCHELL. 159 

"There was a gentleman near us who took some 
notice of me, took me to his house, and showed me 
his library. How delighted I was to see so many fine 
books ! He asked me to take one and read it, and 
come back and take another. This opened a new 
door to me. I began to study mathematics. I drew 
my diagrams on the hearth, and worked them out, 
and went on till I learned a great deal. My good 
friend watched me lovingly, and every now and then 
examined me and gave me encouragement. One day 
he said to me, 'How would you like to go to West 
Point in the State of New York, where young men 
are educated at their country's expense to do service 
afterwards ? ' I asked him whether I was prepared 
to go there, and he answered, ' Yes.' I sewed a piece 
of linen and made a knapsack into which I put my 
clothes, got my credentials, and started for Sandusky, 
two hundred miles off. I walked part of the way, 
sometimes got a ride, and at length reached the lake. 
A steamer was up, as they said, and I went on board 
and asked the captain if he would take me to Buf- 
falo. He told me what the fare was. ' But,' I said, ! I 
have no money/ ' Then you cannot go.' I answered, 
' The weather is fine, I can sleep on deck, and I will 
help in kindling fires or doing anything else.' He 
took me. This was in 1825. The Erie Canal was not 
quite finished. I walked one hundred miles to a point 
where boats were running. I went to a boat and 
asked the captain to take me to Albany. He told me 
the fare, but I said to him, ' I will run errands, help the 
cook, and do anything else I can.' He took me, and 
treated me kindly, and when we were approaching 
Albany I said to him, 'You have been very kind; I 
will show what my business is here.' I had sewed my 



160 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

credentials on the inside of my vest. I undid the 
sewing and showed him them. ' How did you get 
them ? Our most influential young men have difficulty 
in getting such appointments.' I gave him my story. 
' I will see you down to West Point.' He took me to a 
steamer, and paid for my passage, and so I made my 
way there. 

" It was a hot day in the middle of summer when I 
climbed the hill at West Point. There were others 
on the same errand, but they were genteelly dressed 
and rather elbowed me out. When we reached the 
Academy, there was a door standing open, and a num- 
ber of us entered a large room. With my knapsack 
on my back, in my homespun garb, I felt a little de- 
pressed, and sat down by the door. A patrol paced 
backward and forward, and each time he came to the 
door he gave me a pleasant look. After a while a bell 
was rung and my fellow travellers rushed out to din- 
ner. As I had no money I sat still. When the patrol 
came up, he said, 'Never mind, you will dine with 
me to-day. I shall soon be through.' Soon after he 
came and said, ' Come along. We shall dine, and you 
will sleep with me to-night.' He was a fine, generous 
youth, the son of Fulton, who ran the first steamer up 
the Hudson to Albany, and he proved a true friend. 
After dinner he said, ' The examination begins to- 
morrow ; I will get a list of candidates.' He did so, 
and we found my name was not on the list for next 
day, but the day following. ' That is good,' he says. 
' You will see to-morrow how the examination goes.' 
Next day he took me to a room where there were 
a number of benches and a platform a little raised 
from the floor, and, behind, a blackboard hanging on 
the wall. I thought that was a picture turned to the 



PROFESSOR MITCHELL. 161 

wall to keep it nice ; but I soon found out its purpose, 
and thought it a great improvement on my old hearth- 
stone at home. I took a back seat, and soon the 
benches were filled. A silver-headed venerable gentle- 
man came and took his seat on the platform. He took 
a roll, and called a name, and gave a problem to be 
solved. A young man went forward and made sad 
work. Another came, and did better, but the most of 
them signally failed. After all had been examined, 
the gentleman called out to me, 4 What is your name ? ' 
I told him. He looked at the list, and said, ' Your 
turn is to-morrow, but it may spare your feelings if 
I give you something to do now.' He gave me one 
problem, and then another, and I quickly worked them 
out, and then he asked me, ■ What school did you 
attend V 'I never went to school, sir,' I said. ' Who 
taught you V 'I never was taught, sir.' ' Where did 
you learn what you have been doing just now?' '1 
learned lying on the hearth by a wood fire in Ohio,' 
■ You may come to-morrow.' I went through my course 
there with credit and profit. 

" But I must pass over many years. I became a 
Professor in a Western college, had a wife and six 
children, had a good library, a fine apparatus, and 
was a very happy man. One day I was seated in 
church, when I heard a footfall approaching the 
door, which stood open. I looked out and saw a 
friend making signs that I was wanted. I slipped 
quietly out, and, behold, the college building was in 
flames. My furniture, books, apparatus, were burned 
up. I had recently imported some apparatus, from 
Europe, and owed four hundred dollars. In sore per- 
plexity, I applied to a friend at Cincinnati for a loan of 
two hundred dollars to take me to Boston, where I 

11 



162 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

proposed to deliver a course of lectures to relieve my 
perplexity. He was ready to lend me the money, but 
doubted the wisdom of making the attempt. I took 
with me some letters of introduction, and started on my 
way. When I reached Boston and delivered my let- 
ters, T was told that it was the fag end of the season, 
that the people were sick of lecturing, and it would be 
in vain to try. I asked if I could secure a lecture- 
room, and as there was no difficulty about that, I en- 
gaged a room, printed my advertisements, posted them 
myself, and quietly awaited the issue. When the even- 
ing came I went to the hall, but there was not a person 
there. I looked at my watch, and found it wanted 
twenty minutes of the time appointed. When the 
hour arrived there were about eighty present. I had 
no apparatus, with nothing but my rod in my hand, 
but with a full heart, I delivered my lecture. Many 
of my hearers at the close rushed up to me and said, 
' If you will lecture on Tuesday night, you will have a 
full room.' Editors of the leading newspapers were 
there, who pledged themselves to do me justice, and 
they did. On the Tuesday night the crowd was so 
great, that I had to walk on the backs of the pews 
between the heads of the people to gain the desk. I 
delivered my lectures there, and repeated them in 
Lowell, and returned home with two thousand dollars 
in my pocket. 

"Here," said Mr. Carter, "the narrative of my hon- 
ored friend ended. I tell it to you boys, to encourage 
you to faithful efforts to improve and develop your- 
selves. This man, who rose from obscurity entirely 
by his own efforts, with the blessing of God, is now 
one of the most learned men and eloquent orators of 
our day, holding large audiences of our most culti- 



ROME IN 1862. 163 

vated people spellbound while he discourses to them 
of the wonderful facts of astronomy. Of late a fear- 
ful storm of war has swept over our land. The 
whole country has been moved to its depths, and the 
brilliant lecturer is now leading one of our armies to 
save his loved land." 

A year later, Mr. Carter had to add to this narrative 
these words : " Of those who fell in that struggle, no 
nobler spirit winged its flight to the home where there 
is no war than that of General Mitchell. What a scene 
must have opened before him when those glorious orbs 
of light, which he studied so ardently here below, burst 
in all their majesty before his astonished vision I " 

The winter and spring of 1862 Mr. Carter spent in 
Italy with his wife and daughter, while his sons visited 
the Holy Land and Egypt. Three months of this time 
he spent in Rome, where he fairly revelled in the scenes 
familiar to him from his classical studies. Every spot 
was to him hallowed ground, from its associations with 

"The dead but sceptred sovereigns who still rule 
Our spirits from their urns." 

He was perfectly indefatigable in his researches into 
the haunts of antiquity and verse, and was ever ready 
with an incident or a quotation for each scene. 

Mr. Carter writes the following incident, which oc- 
curred at this time : — 

" One afternoon I was walking up the street that leads 
to the Pincian Hill, the great promenade of the Eomans, 
a gentleman whom I supposed to be an Englishman was 
walking alongside of me. I bowed and said, ' Good day, 
sir.' He answered courteously. We entered into con- 
versation. He was a physician who had spent seven- 
teen years in Rome, and he gave me a rather dark picture 



164 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

of the Papal government. When we reached the brow 
of the hill, we saw seats along the side of the walk. 
On one of these there were three gentlemen dressed as 
priests of high rank, and as we approached one of them 
rose up and took me by the hand, addressing me pleas- 
antly. It was Archbishop Hughes, and I was glad to 
meet him, as it was the first year of our sad war, and I 
was anxious to converse with him about the state of 
affairs. We had a long and interesting conversation, 
and when I bade him good-by, T turned to descend the 
hill. I found my friend the physician waiting for me, 
apparently in some trouble. * What is the matter ? ' I 
asked. 'I made a mistake,' said he, 'and have been 
talking too freely. I heard that there was a Scotchman 
here who had gone to New York many years ago, and 
had married a Yankee wife, who had made him as much 
a Yankee as herself, and I thought you were the man.' 
' What changed your opinion ? ' I asked. ' He was not 
a Catholic, as you apparently are. Two of these gentle- 
men were Cardinals ; the third one who talked to you 
I did not know, but I supposed you were a Catholic, 
else he would not have received you so cordially/ I 
relieved his mind by assuring him that I was the man he 
described, and as good a Protestant as himself. Bishop 
Hughes did receive me kindly. He told me he could 
open any door to me in Rome, and would be glad to 
do anything to give me pleasure. One day, after a long 
discussion of various difficult questions, I quoted two 
lines, 

' Not greatly to discern, not much to know, 
Mankind was made to wonder and adore.' 

'You are acquainted with my old friend, Young, 5 said 
he. ' Yes/ I replied. * I studied Young's Night 
Thoughts by the firelight till I made large portions 



ROME IN 1862. 165 

of them my own.' He told me he did the same when 
he was a boy, and that they had been his vade mecum 
ever since. I could not help loving the man who 
had drunk with me at the same spring in life's morn- 
ing. We had so much common ground on which to 
stand, that we touched little on those points in which 
we differed." 

There was not much civil or religious liberty at 
that time in Eome. There was no Protestant church 
allowed within the walls. There was a very ritual- 
istic Episcopal church outside the Porta del Popolo, 
and just inside was a church where Cardinal Man- 
ning preached every Sunday afternoon. It was a 
common saying among the English residents that the 
high church rector brought them to the gate of Eome, 
and Cardinal Manning opened it and took them in. 
Mr. Carter greatly enjoyed hearing Cardinal Manning, 
and went quite regularly for a while, at times when 
there was no Protestant service. The Free Church 
of Scotland was trying to establish a mission in 
Eome, and had sent there the Eev. Mr. Law ton, an 
able and interesting preacher, who held services in his 
own apartments, he having chosen a large and pleasant 
parlor with this object in view. The services were very 
simple and delightful, Mr. Lawton appropriately choos- 
ing the Epistle to the Eomans as the subject of his 
sermons. The audience were constantly reminded of 
the apostle who had " dwelt two whole years in his own 
hired house, and received all who came in unto him." 
As the little conventicle was held only on sufferance, 
though the authorities doubtless knew of its existence, 
it was thought best not to call attention to it by sing- 
ing, and the congregation was requested to enter and 
retire in little groups of twos and threes. All this 



166 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

added a little spice of interest and adventure, appeal- 
ing to the imagination, and seeming to connect the 
worshippers with those who eighteen centuries ago 
had worshipped in the Catacombs under the ban of 
those in authority. 

Mr. Carter met an old friend who had visited his 
store in New York, the Eev. Mr. B . This gentle- 
man had some years before been on board the ocean 
steamer "Amazon" when she was burned at sea, and 
had escaped in a lifeboat. He had written a little tract 
giving a description of the burning, and making an ap- 
plication by warning sinners to flee from a similar peril. 
Before coming to Italy, he had had this tract translated 
into Italian, and brought a large number of copies with 
him for distribution as he travelled. As he went about 
Koine, he gave away a number of these leaflets, handing 
one to his landlady, another to a soldier in the Lateran 
palace. In St. Peter's, he entered into conversation 
with a priest, and handed him one of the tracts. The 
next day an officer entered his rooms, and said that he 
and his package of books must go at once to the police 
court. Arrived there, he was accused of circulating Prot- 
estant tracts. " You are mistaken," said he, " there is 
nothing controversial in these tracts. There is nothing 
in them but what Protestants and Catholics alike be- 
lieve. It is a simple appeal to sinners to flee from the 
wrath to come." " No cavilling, sir," said the judge. 
" You cannot be allowed to stay longer here. You must 
take the first steamer that leaves Civita Vecchia, and 
after you get on board, your tracts will be restored to 
you." In vain he protested that he had a written per- 
mit to stay in Home for a month. Go he must, and go 
he did. 

One of the most delightful episodes of this journey 



AMONG THE WALDENSES. 167 

was a Sunday spent with the Waldenses at La Tour. 
One Friday evening in Milan, it was discussed whether 
the Sabbath should be spent in Genoa or Turin, when 
suddenly Mr. Carter looked up from the map which he 
was studying to propose that a little longer journey 
should be taken, and that they should go up among the 
Vaudois. This was decided by acclamation, and Sat- 
urday evening at seven found them at Pinerolo. Mr. 
Carter went out to seek a carriage to take the party to 
La Tour. While he was examining a vehicle, a pleasant- 
looking gentleman, dressed in black, came up and asked 
in English if he could be of any assistance as inter- 
preter. They fell into conversation, and the gentleman 
proved to be one of the professors from the seminary at 
La Tour, come down to preach in Pinerolo the next day. 
He said, " Shall I introduce you to one of our pastors, 
who is going up on the diligence ? " and presented Pro- 
fessor Tron, who extended a cordial welcome to the 
valley. The diligence started on, and shortly after the 
carriage for Mr. Carter's party was ready. That even- 
ing ride through the twilight into the beautiful region, 
hallowed by so many sacred associations, was one never 
to be forgotten. Arrived at the little inn at La Tour, 
it was found to be lighted from garret to cellar ; the 
host and hostess came out with a hearty welcome, as if 
to invited guests. " Here is a room for Monsieur and 
Madame, here one for Mademoiselle. This one we 
have made ready for the young gentlemen." "But," 
said Mr. Carter, "there must be a mistake. We had 
not engaged rooms." " O, but the Professor has been 
here, and told us about you, and the rooms are all 
ready, and supper is on the table." This simple hospi- 
tality was very grateful, after months of travel among 
strangers of another faith. 



168 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

In the morning, the Professor came, and led the party 
to Sunday school, which was held in the church, and 
was participated in by all the congregation, old and 
young. Afterwards came the church service, and at 
the end of the sermon the clergyman called upon a boy 
in the audience, who rose and gave a very full account 
of the discourse. After a little, the pastor told this boy 
to be seated, and called upon another, who took up the 
subject where the first had left off. The service was 
conducted in French. At that time theological stu- 
dents had to be sent to Geneva to be educated, as 
there was no seminary for them at home. The people 
seem to speak and understand it as well as their native 
Italian. They are very simple and friendly in their 
manners, and salute all passers by with a cheery " Bon 
jour." 

Professor Tron came towards evening, and took the 
family out for a walk through his most interesting val- 
ley. He pointed out a cave in the mountain side 
where a large party of Vaudois had hidden themselves 
from their Savoyard pursuers, who built large fires in 
the entrance, and suffocated the unfortunate refugees. 
In another direction was a mountain into whose rocky 
fastnesses the small army of the Waldenses had fled 
from their pursuers, who set guards at nightfall around 
their place of refuge, thinking that in the morning they 
would fall an easy prey. It was bright moonlight, and 
it seemed impossible that they should escape, but in the 
night a thick fog enveloped them, and the Vaudois, 
knowing every footpath, were enabled to slip through 
their enemies' lines and escape. Such narratives, told 
upon the very spot where the events occurred, were of 
thrilling interest. Mr. Carter plied his informant with 
questions of the past and present. He was delighted 



DR. C&SAR MALAN. 169 

to hear the name of his dear old friend, Mr. Lenox, con- 
stantly and gratefully mentioned. " Mr. Lenox did this 
for us." " Mr. Lenox gave us that library." It was a 
great pleasure to Mr. Carter to have this familiar inter- 
course with the descendants of those "who kept the 
truth so pure of old." 

Professor Tron said that the Waldenses had lost a 
good friend in Count Cavour, and gave an instance of 
his favor to them. The Piedmontese constitution for- 
bade the printing of Bibles or other books without the 
imprimatur of a bishop. The Vaudois were accused of 
violating the law, but Cavour decided that, as they had 
no bishops, their pastors were bishops. Thus the door 
was opened for their publications. 

The two following Sabbaths were spent in Geneva, 
where the family attended Dr. Malan's church. This 
venerable man impressed all who saw and heard him 
by the earnestness and spirituality of his appearance 
and words. His noble and beautiful face, with the long 
white hair falling upon his shoulders, and the tender- 
ness of his speech, made him appear like the beloved 
disciple in his last days at Ephesus. On the second 
Sunday, there was a communion service, and the gen- 
eral audience retired before the ordinance, leaving only 
about a dozen people besides the American visitors. Dr. 
Malan whispered to his session about providing seats 
"pour les Strangers." In addressing the communicants, 
he spoke some words in English at the close, and in the 
prayer added some petitions in English. When the 
bread and wine were distributed, he directed the elders 
to carry them to the strangers first. The whole service 
was very simple and beautiful, and especially appro- 
priate, because there were so small a number present, — 
scarcely more than the little company who first partook 



170 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

of the feast in the upper chamber iu Jerusalem. After 
service, Mr. Carter's oldest son, who was just entering 
the ministry, was presented to Dr. Malan, who, placing 
his hands upon the young man's head with manifesta- 
tion of deep feeling, said, " My dear brother, you have 
chosen the grandest and noblest of all callings, and may 
the blessing of the God of Jacob ever rest on you and 
on any church of Jesus Christ to which you may be 
called to minister." 

Dr. Malan had long been a correspondent of Mr. 
Carter. In one letter, which has unfortunately been 
lost, he gave many interesting reminiscences of the 
Haldanes and their evangelical work in Geneva and 
Montauban, which was blessed to the conversion of 
Malan, Merle d'Aubigne', Gaussen, and the Monods. 
He also dwelt very affectionately and enthusiastically 
on the character of Dr. John M. Mason of New York, 
who was with him in Paris in the early years of the 
century. Dr. Malan invited him to go to the theatre 
to see some brilliant performance. Dr. Mason de- 
clined, saying that he did not think it right. Dr. 
Malan said that he could see no objection to going 
where they were not known, and where their example 
could do no harm. Dr. Mason replied, " My Chris- 
tianity knows no geography." Dr. Malan added, that 
his views in regard to amusements and to observance 
of the Sabbath were revolutionized by his intercourse 
with Dr. Mason. 

Shortly after his return to America, in August, 1862, 
Mr. Carter received the following letter from Dr. Guthrie, 
with whom from that time he kept up a regular corre- 
spondence until his death, when Mrs. Guthrie took up 
the pen, and was henceforth Mr. Carter's most regular 
correspondent in Great Britain. Her first letter is also 



LETTER FROM DR. GUTHRIE. 171 

inserted here with her husband's, though it is of a much 
later date. 

Dr. Guthrie's letter bears date September 4, 1862: — 

4 'Your letter was a great pleasure to all of us, and all the 
more after the distress into which we were thrown after the 
most painful rumor that one of your sons had been lost in 
the Jordan. It was some little time after this appeared in the 
newspapers until we heard of it. I clung to the hope that it 
might not be your son, although it was stated to be a young 
student by the name of Carter from New York, and we 
knew that your sons were at the time specified in the Holy 
Laud. Still I assure you we were very happy and thankful 
to learn some time before receiving your welcome letter that 
it was none of yours who had been drowned while bathing in 
the Jordan. 

u How well I would like to see you again ! We go over 
often our travels with you, and recall with pleasure the inter- 
course between our two families. I hope we shall meet 
again on earth ; meanwhile may we be making daily progress 
to that better land where they meet to part no more. . . . 

" What is to become of your country 1 In some respects 
the providence is as dark and terrible as the thunder-cloud 
which has been flashing and pealing over this house for the 
last two hours. As you will remember, I never anticipated 
any other result than that which has happened. Be they 
right or wrong, men fighting for what they consider indepen- 
dence, with their wives and children at their back, are hard 
to subdue. And in the accounts from America, how often 
do I wish that God would step forward and put an end to 
the horrors ! We are all greatly distressed about America, 
and our only comfort is the hope that the blot of slavery 
will in the end be washed out. It is sad to think, however, 
that should be done by tears and blood, although perhaps 
not much to be wondered at. It is a blessed thing to know 
that God reigneth supreme over men, with all their folly and 



172 LITE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

madness. One would otherwise have no hope for the better 
times that are in store for this distracted world." 

1 Salisbury Road, March 11, 1873. 

Dear Mr. Carter, — Among the hundreds of letters 
which I have been receiving these last sad weeks of tender 
sympathy for me and mine, and of the appreciation of the 
worth and dying testimony of my dear husband, none cer- 
tainly have touched my heart more than yours ; for not con- 
tent with loving thoughts of your suffering friend on his 
dying bed, you follow up these by a substantial proof of your 
friendship in destining so large a sum as one hundred pounds 
to do with as he thought proper. 

Now, since the Lord has called him to a higher steward- 
ship, I shall gratefully accept your gift, dear Mr. Carter, 
as it will enable me to contribute more easily (as I would 
ever wish to do) to the many noble objects the Master 
has honored his servant to further by his means as well 
as his advocacy while on earth. 

You will be glad to know how wonderfully the Lord has 
sustained me. From the first to the last of Dr. Guthrie's 
illness, I have seen that the sickness was unto death. I 
have cast my burden on the Lord, and He has sustained me. 
You know how I am blessed in my family, all doing well in 
the world, respected and respectable. And then the wide- 
spread tide of sympathy and kind attention, from the Queen 
down to the poorest in the land, is very soothing to my 
stricken heart. David sends you by this post a pamphlet 
containing any particulars you might like to know of the last 
hours of your dear departed friend, which you will please 
accept from me instead of a letter from Charles, which I 
am sure he would have gladly written, and may still by 
and by. I have with me my son Thomas and his wife, 
from Buenos Ayres ; so the house does not look so desolate, 
though, alas ! none can take the place of its head. 

The Lord spare you and bless you, dear Mr. Carter, and 



LETTER FROM MRS. GUTHRIE. 173 

your family, to serve His cause, and bless the world as you 
have done for many a day, and at last grant you an abun- 
dant entrance into His kingdom above, to join the ransomed 
throng who have already beheld their blessed Lord and 
Saviour. 

Yours with much esteem, 

Anne Guthrie. 

Dr. and Mrs. Guthrie, with their youngest son Charles, 
had made all their arrangements to visit America in 
the summer of 1867, and were to be Mr. Carter's guests. 
They came as far as Queenstown, but the motion of the 
steamer had so bad an effect on the action of the Doctor's 
heart that he was obliged to give up the voyage, to the 
sore disappointment of his many American friends. His 
son made the journey alone, and won many friends in 
this country, who still remember him with cordial in- 
terest. He visited Mr. Carter in New York and in 
Stockbridge, Massachusetts. 



CHAPTEK VII. 

WHEN Mr. Carter returned to America after his 
most enjoyable European trip, he was fifty-five 
years of age, entering upon what are generally regarded 
as declining years, but he was destined to " bring forth 
fruit in old age." His last days were also his best. 
His two sons in the ministry soon married and settled 
in their respective parishes ; a few years later his only 
daughter married a clergyman ; his brother-in-law, Eev. 
Dr. Mann, was settled in Princeton ; and Mr. Carter 
would go from one country parish to another, a most 
welcome visitor, taking part in any meetings or conven- 
tions that were going on at the time, always present at 
and adding greatly to the interest of Sunday school and 
prayer meeting. His friends often referred to these 
visits as those of a bishop to his diocese. His advice 
was constantly sought by the young ministers, and was 
always judicious and kindly. Wherever he went, he 
spread sunshine by his cheery presence. At his side 
moved his gentle wife, casting a milder but no less cer- 
tain radiance. She was almost always with him, except 
in his numerous journeys to the General Assembly, at- 
tendance on which she resolutely declined. They were 
singularly happy in the marriages of their children and 
all new members coming in were welcomed by the 
parents as if they had been indeed their own. The 
family tie was strengthened and not weakened by the 
new lives added. In later years they were called to 



STOCKBRIDGE. 175 

mourn, as one by one their children by marriage were 
removed by death, and in each case their grief was deep 
and lasting, sorrowing for themselves and for the dear 
ones so sorely bereaved, and for the grandchildren left 
fatherless or motherless. 

In 1864 began a series of summer gatherings unique 
in their character. It was not enough for Mr. Carter to 
visit his children in their homes, and have them visit 
him in New York with their little ones, a few at a 
time. He wanted all his clan assembled under one roof, 
and for a considerable period ; so during the vacations 
of the ministers he invited all to some country haunt. 
He found comfortable quarters in beautiful Berkshire, 
Massachusetts, first at Stockbridge, afterwards at South 
Egremont. As years passed on, the party increased, 
until at last, with mothers-in-law and brothers-in-law 
and babies and nurses, it frequently numbered nearly 
forty. A large sitting-room was always provided where 
family prayers were regularly conducted, and where 
many a merry game was enjoyed in the evenings. The 
days passed in what seemed a delightful dream. The 
young cousins grew up with almost brotherly interest 
in each other. Occasionally a few congenial outsiders 
dropped into the happy circle. 

Mr. Carter was always very fond of driving, and 
wherever he was would constantly get up great carriage 
loads to go to some point of interest. To him a pleas- 
ure shared was always doubled, and when he was along 
no one else ever troubled himself about expense. 

Dr. Henry M. Field wrote in the Evangelist, after 
his old friend's death : — 

" For some years he spent his summers near us in the 
country, where in 1866 he received a visit from Dr. McCosh, 
who was then making his acquaintance with America, and 



176 LITE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

the first time that we ever saw a face to which we were 
afterwards to look up with such a tender veneration was 
when Robert Carter and Dr. McCosh were on the lawn in 
front of the old farmhouse playing croquet. But the dear 
elder did not, any more than the learned divine, fail to seize 
every opportunity for doing good. He attended a little 
church among the hills, and his contribution to it was fully 
one tenth of the pastor's salary ; and when the latter was 
laid upon a bed of sickness, no visits were more frequent and 
more welcome than those of this man of God, whose very 
presence in the sick-room was a benediction." 

One of Mr. Carter's most delightful memories of 
Stockbridge was of an evening at Dr. Field's house, 
with Dr. McCosh, Dr. Mark Hopkins and his brother 
Dr. Albert Hopkins, and Mrs. Harriet Beeoher Stowe. 
It was an occasion never to be forgotten by any who 
listened to the flow of brilliant conversation. 

The little church to which Dr. Field alludes was one 
in the village of Curtisville, about two miles from 
Stockbridge. The first summer that he visited Berk- 
shire he was boarding with his family in a pleasant 
house, beautifully situated between Stockbridge and 
Curtisville, and with a lovely view over the picturesque 
hills and valleys of Berkshire. There can hardly be 
a more beautiful village on earth than Stockbridge, 
with its magnificent elms shading its broad street, — 
with its lovely homes, where culture and refinement 
have made their abode since Eliot and Jonathan Ed- 
wards lived there. The first Sunday Mr. Carter drove 
with his party to Stockbridge to church, but during the 
following week he noticed a spire near at hand among 
the trees, and inquired if there was not a church within 
walking distance. " yes, there is the Curtisville 
church, but it is a plain little affair. You would not 



CURTIS VILLB. 177 

like to go there." " I think I should, for two reasons. 
I never take horses out on Sunday if there is a church 
I can walk to, and we might be able to do some good 
in that church. The Stockbridge one is strong, and 
does not need us." From that time he threw himself 
heartily into church work there, attending Sunday 
school and evening meetings as if he was a deacon or an 
elder. The prayer meetings were exceedingly interest- 
ing and very largely attended. Mr. Carter and his sons 
were cordially welcomed, and it is believed that great 
good was done in that quiet neighborhood. The people 
had grown disheartened, the church was in great need 
of repairs, but they felt unable to do anything. Mr. 
Carter spoke words of encouragement, and when he of- 
fered a liberal subscription on condition that they would 
do their best, the people took hold with a good will, 
and when he came back the next summer the shabby 
little building was transformed to such a degree as 
to be hardly recognizable. The whole church life was 
revived and spiritualized. It seemed as if the dry 
bones lived. The Sunday school was a special field of 
labor to him. Here and in many other schools he of- 
fered prizes to the children for different forms of Bible 
research. One of these was the offer of an attractive 
book to every member of the Sunday school who 
would bring him a written list of all the names of 
Christ that he could find. Such a list has been found 
prepared by himself, and containing one hundred and 
sixty-five names of our Lord. Books were promised 
to any one who would come and tell him that he or 
she had read the Bible through. In the course of his 
life he must have given thousands of volumes in this 
way. Another favorite scheme of his was to tell some 
young man who was beginning to use tobacco that he 

12 



178 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

would give him twenty dollars if he would give it up 
till he came of age. He thought, if the habit was not 
formed before that age, there was little danger of its 
being formed afterwards. One day he met a young lad 
smoking, and said to him, " John, if you will stop smok- 
ing till you are twenty-one 1 11 give you twenty dollars." 
The boy threw away his cigar, saying, " I '11 never smoke 
again," and he never did. When he came of age, and 
he had received his twenty dollars, a member of his 
family said to him, " Are you not going to smoke again 
now ? " " No indeed, I would not show such disrespect 
to Mr. Carter." 

It has been said that he was a peace lover. It was 
impossible to quarrel with him, because he positively 
would not quarrel. People tried it sometimes, and 
perhaps would go off in a huff because all their sharp 
speeches were good-naturedly answered, and then, when 
they got over their pet and came back, they found him 
just as he always had been, kind and friendly, with 
never an allusion to their former outbreak. He had 
the best of all dispositions, naturally a quick temper, 
under perfect control. He had his own strong con- 
victions on important subjects, and was not afraid to 
express them when necessary, but he had large charity 
for other people's convictions ; and the petty affairs 
which many people quarrel over were to him trifles, 
unworthy of a thought. " Why do ye not rather suffer 
wrong ? " was a text often on his lips. 

At the close of the war, a good many of his Southern 
correspondents, of whom he had not heard for months 
or years, came North, and found him ready to give a 
kindly reception. A clergyman whom he had known 
well, a fine scholarly man, but a strong Secessionist, 
came into his store in the spring of 18G5. Mr. Carter 



SOUTHERN FRIENDS. 179 

and his brothers were very glad to see their old friend, 
and gathered about him to hear how he had fared in 
the long period of silence and separation. He talked to 
them awhile with evident emotion, and then said, " Mr. 
Carter, I don't understand this. I came North, expect- 
ing to find coldness and alienation, and you welcome 
me as warmly as you ever did." " Oh," said Mr. Carter, 
laughing, " of course we welcome the repentant prodi- 
gal." " But I am not repentant. I am conquered, but 
not convinced." " We receive you as a Christian brother, 
any way. The war is over, and we will all accept its 
conclusions, and talk over only the many things on 
which we meet on common ground, and not the few on 
which we disagree." This clergyman had lost every- 
thing during the war; he was unable to preach, and 
was sorely embarrassed. The same day, a prominent 
and wealthy man of Chicago came into the store, and 
said, " I want to buy a library, and expect to spend 
twenty thousand dollars on it. I wish you would help 
me in the selection of the books." Mr. Carter told him 
that he had not time to go into such a work, which 
should be done with great care, and would be a year's 

work for some one, but said, "You know Dr. , who 

has just come up from the South. He is just the man 
to do such a work, and I know that he greatly needs 
employment." The position was offered, and gladly 
accepted by the clergyman, who gratefully thanked 
Mr. Carter, saying, " You certainly obey the injunction, 
' If thine enemy hunger, feed him.' " The idea of Mr. 
Carter regarding a political opponent as an enemy was 
preposterous in the last degree. 

Another Southerner, who came up from the South 
at the close of the war and renewed old friendship 
with Mr. Carter, was Mr. McCarter, at whose house 



180 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

in Charleston, South Carolina, he had visited. He was 
a man of most benevolent character. In slavery times, 
no free colored person was allowed to live in South 
Carolina. If they earned money to purchase their 
freedom, they were obliged to put themselves under 
the protection of some white man, and be considered 
his slaves. Quite a large number had chosen him as 
their master in this way, and, while calling themselves 
his slaves, they carried on business for themselves. 
When Mr. Carter visited him, in 1855, he would fre- 
quently say, in passing through the streets, " That is 
my man," or, " That is my woman." This noble Chris- 
tian man during the war visited hospitals and prisons, 
carrying kindly relief and sympathy to the wounded 
of both armies. He had removed to Columbia, and 
was there when it was burned. When Sherman's 
army passed through, there was great excitement and 
trouble in the town. He was summoned to his front 
gate to speak with a party of soldiers who demanded 
food. " I will do the best I can for you, but the South- 
ern army has just passed through, and stripped our 
larder, and really I have but poor fare to offer you." 
While he was speaking, the torchlight fell full on his 
face, and a soldier exclaimed, " Why, old horse, is that 
you ? " And turning to the commanding officer, he 
said, " This man was very kind to us Northern prison- 
ers. I was sick and in prison, and he came to me 
bringing comforts and speaking kind words." " I shall 
set a guard on his house, then," said the officer. " Sir, 
you need fear no further molestation." Through all 
that stormy time, "the beloved of the Lord dwelt in 
safety by Him." 

When he came North, after peace was declared, he 
arrived unexpectedly one evening at Mr. Carter's house, 



AN AGED HEROINE. 181 

exclaiming, as lie entered the parlor, " Will you receive 
an old rebel ? " He was welcomed with open arms, and 
the two friends sat late that night talking over the ex- 
citing events that had taken place since they last met. 
Mr. McCarter wore a suit of rather rough-looking cloth, 
and, turning to his hostess, remarked, "You may not 
think I am very elegantly dressed, Mrs. Carter, but per- 
haps you may have more respect for my garments when 
I tell you that this suit I have on cost me six hundred 
dollars." This little visit was greatly enjoyed by both 
friends, and they tacitly agreed to differ on topics on 
which they took entirely opposite views. The quiet 
games of chess over which they spent an hour each even- 
ing formed the only battle-ground between the two. 

One of Mr. Carter's dearest friends was Mrs. Sarah 
A. Brown, who for many years kept a young ladies' 
boarding school in New York. She had been associated 
with him in the High School, being principal of the 
girls' department, and the friendship then formed was 
sustained through life. She was a woman of fine in- 
tellect and very lovely character. At the time of the 
riots, in 1863, she was living on the corner of Twenty- 
Third Street and Seventh Avenue. Looking from her 
window, she saw several colored women, with children, 
chased along the avenue by a mob. She went out on 
her steps and beckoned the poor creatures in, promising 
all the protection in her power. The mob surrounded 
the house, threatening to set fire to it if she did not 
give up the Negroes. Again she went out on her door- 
step, and addressed the rioters, saying that she felt 
that she could not die in a better cause than defending 
the oppressed, and that she never would give up these 
defenceless creatures. The noble words and dignified 
bearing of the stately, beautiful old lady, who counted 



182 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

not her life dear unto herself, so impressed those law- 
less men that they went quietly away, and she suffered 
no further molestation. She kept the refugees in her 
house for several days, and when at last the streets 
were quiet she went down to Mr. Carter's store to ask 
if he would join with her in providing a simple outfit 
for them, as they had lost their clothing and furniture 
in the riots. 

In July, 1867, one of her two daughters died after a 
brief illness at Princeton, New Jersey, where Mrs. Brown 
was then residing. At this time, Mr. Carter wrote her 
the following letter : — 

"By a letter received yesterday, we were informed 
that your loving daughter, Miss Caroline, was no more. 
The sad tidings deeply affected us all, the more so as 
they were so unexpected. How little we know what a 
day may bring forth ! What can I say to you to com- 
fort you ? You know the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
and you know how lovingly he dealt with her for many 
a year. Has he now in anger smitten her down ? Can 
you suppose this to be the case ? By no means ! You 
mourn not as those without hope. For, as Jesus died 
and rose again, so those who sleep in Jesus he will 
bring with him. This sore trial to your faith and pa- 
tience brings to my mind all the way by which the 
Lord has led you these nearly forty years since we first 
met. How goodness and mercy have followed you ! 
And yet through much tribulation you have come. 
Can you not now set to your seal that God is true, — is 
love ? For many years past I could say with the apos- 
tle, ' I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.' 
Can I not still continue to say so ? Yes, ' He doeth all 
things well.' May it not be that he is saying to you, 
1 Arise, this is not your rest, for it is polluted.' 



LETTER TO A BEREAVED FRIEND. 183 

" The venerable Samuel Eutherford, writing to a lady 
Sorely bereaved, uses this language : ' Build not your 
nest on any tree in this forest, for your Master has sold 
them all to death, aud he will soon come and take them 
all away.' 

" Grandmother, Mrs. Carter, and all of us, deeply sym- 
pathize with you and Miss Brown. The Lord deal very 
tenderly with you, and show you wherefore he contend- 
eth with you, and make you to become more and more 
fruitful. ' Whom he loveth, he chasteneth.' He hath 
taken your loved child to himself. He hath washed 
her, and made her white and clean, and hath clothed 
her with the spotless robe of Christ's righteousness. 
How happy she is now ! how holy ! how loving ! We 
cannot think of her but as the bride adorned for her 
husband. 

" Eichard Cameron was beheaded at Airsmoss, in 
Scotland, and the headless body was there buried. 
Shortly after, Alexander Peden sat on the grave, and, 
wayworn and weary, raised his eyes to Heaven, and 
exclaimed, ' O to be wi' Eitchie ! ' 

" We shall go to her ; she shall not return to us. She 
is not dead, but sleepeth. May we too sleep as sweetly 
as she does in the blessed Saviour when our day is done 
and the night cometh ! ' Peace be unto you.' ' The very 
God of peace dwell in you richly, and make you to 
abound more and more in the fruits of the Spirit.' ' The 
Lord hear thee in the day of trouble, the name of the 
God of Jacob defend thee, send thee help from the sanc- 
tuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion.' 

" I am glad that our dear brother M. is so near you. 
He is a wise counsellor, and loves you. 

" May the Master open his lips, and cause him to 
speak comfortable words. 



184 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

"We commit you and your dear daughter E. to our 
covenant-keeping God." 

Reference has been made several times to Mr. Car- 
ter's friendship with Dr. McCosh, which began in 1850 
and continued to the close of his life, when Dr. McCosh 
stood beside his coffin and paid a true and tender trib- 
ute to the memory of his tried and faithful friend. 
Dr. McCosh gives the following history of his inter- 
course with Robert Carter : — 

"I was first brought into communication with Mr. Carter 
when, in 1850, I published in Edinburgh my first book, ' The 
Method of Divine Government, Physical and Moral.' He 
immediately republished the work in America, sending me 
the nice little sum of fifty pounds. He took a deep interest 
in the book, and promoted its sale, not merely because it 
brought him business profit, but because he thought it ; would 
do good, and because he believed that it set forth what he 
was sure was the true doctrine in regard to God and his 
government. From that time I corresponded with him 
occasionally. I saw him in Edinburgh when he came on a 
visit to his native country looking out for good books to 
republish and make known and circulate in the wider coun- 
try of America. I owe to him, as many others do, the 
introduction of my early works into the wide continent of 
North America. He threw himself heartily into this work, 
and carried it on in a business-like manner, believing that 
in this way he could do most good both in his native and 
his adopted country. 

u Being now somewhat known in the United States, I paid 
a visit to that country in 1866. He received me as his 
^iiest, first in New York, and then in his summer quarters 
in a farmhouse near Lenox. In that latter place I saw him 
at his best. He had gathered his family around him. He 
was lively, he was genial. He had many an anecdote to tell 
of the scenes through which he had passed in Scotland and 



DR. McCOSH. 185 

in America. In particular he watched with deep interest the 
career of Thomas Guthrie, whose works he published, and 
other eminent ministers of his native land. He felt a deep 
interest in the Scotchmen who came over to America. Some 
of them had unfortunately fallen into poverty and bad hab- 
its, and he took evident pleasure in telling how he had been 
the means of relieving them in their difficulties and starting 
them upon a new and better course. This was a subject on 
which he always delighted to expatiate. 

" Everybody was impressed with two features of his char- 
acter. One was his great conscientiousness. However bril- 
liant and salable a book might be, he would not publish it 
if its tendency was not good, or even if it contained a pas- 
sage fitted to injure religion or morality. In this respect 
he was more rigidly faithful than any publisher I ever met 
with. He used his daily employment as a means of impart- 
ing elevated knowledge and spiritual comfort to old and 
young. I know of no library, juvenile mission, or tract 
society containing a greater number of books, all good and 
none evil, than Mr. Carter's store in Broadway. 

" Every one noticed another characteristic. His heart was 
full of pious devotion. It was ever ready to express itself 
in prayers. It was pleasant and refreshing to join him in 
his family worship. At meetings for benevolent and reli- 
gious purposes he was commonly asked to lead in prayer. 
Every sentence was rich with spiritual unction, and you felt 
that it was the outpouring of the heart." 

Dr. McCosh has kindly given his consent to the pub- 
lication of three of his letters, which explain themselves 
and which throw light on a very interesting period in 
the lives of both. They were written in the interval 
between Dr. McCosh's visit to America, in 1866, and 
his assuming the Presidency of Princeton College, in 
1868. The first bears the date of Belfast, Septem- 
ber 1, 1866. 



186 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

" After a pleasant passage, I arrived in Queenstown on 
Wednesday, and at my own home the following day. 

" My deepest feeling is one of thankfulness to the loving 
God who has kept me through these long voyages of six 
thousand miles, and of these still longer journeys of seven 
thousand five hundred miles, during the whole of which I 
have been in such a state of health as to enjoy the scenes 
through which I have passed, and to receive, I trust, profit 
from them. 

" I also feel gratitude to the many, many friends, for such 
I reckon them, in America, who have shown me so much 
kindness and put themselves to so much trouble to throw 
open to me objects of interest in your towns and in your 
rural districts, in your churches and in your benevolent and 
educational institutions. Few travellers from our country 
have seen such a variety of men and manners, of industrial 
life and natural scenery, in your country, as I have had the 
privilege of doing. 

"Among these friends I give the first place to you, — you 
and your family, and your brothers, and indeed your whole 
kindred and connection. I am indebted to you for being 
able to plan such a tour, and for making me known to many 
who helped me on my journey, and for the quiet though 
deep pleasure I always felt in the bosom of your family, first 
in New York, then still more in that lovely valley in Berk- 
shire. I feel that the purposes which I had in view in my 
visit to your country have been fulfilled, and I thank God 
and my American friends that I have come home thoroughly 
refreshed in body and in mind ; and I feel that I can enter 
with renewed life on my college duties and on my more 
general studies. I have received new and profitable sensa- 
tions and impressions, and laid up many pleasant memories 
to be cherished in time, and I believe in eternity. I have 
formed acquaintances in a day or in an hour to be remem- 
bered by me as long as I have a memory. 

" I found the good people in your country ready to recip- 



DR. McCOSH. 187 

rocate any feeling of kindness expressed by the people of 
this country. I rejoice in the opportunity which I had in 
the General Assemblies at St. Louis of making statements 
which I trust tend towards bringing Christians in your 
country into closer communion with Christians in our land. 
" There was such a spirit exhibited at all our meetings 
about the Evangelical Alliance in New York, that I am con- 
fidently expecting that there will soon be a public announce- 
ment of the formation of an American organization to act 
along with the British in exhibiting and realizing the unity 
of the Church of Christ. It will now be my pleasant duty 
to report all this to Christians here, and thus join the other 
eud of the chain and connect the countries by a quicker and 
a stronger bond than the Atlantic Cable. I have seen how 
much you owe to education, I have seen much in your 
higher schools and colleges to admire and to copy. I am 
ready to testify that in New England and in other parts, 
including the West, you have been able to raise the working 
classes to a state of physical comfort and of intelligence 
such as has not been realized in any country in Europe. 
You owe this to the Word of God, to your quiet Sabbaths, 
and to education." 

The following letter from Dr. McCosh bears date 
January 22, 1868: — 

" In a letter which I had last week from a gentleman of 
some influence in the States, he mentions incidentally that 
Dr. Maclean has resigned the presidency of the New Jersey 
University, and that some are greatly talking of me for the 
office. I had occasion to write him, and said simply that I 
was not seeking any office here or elsewhere, but that if any 
such proposal was laid before me I would favorably consider 
it. 1 think it due to the friendship subsisting between you 
and me to let you know this. I am willing to go wherever 
my Master may call me to a wider field of usefulness, in this 
country or America. I have just declined a proposal to make 



1S8 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

me Professor of Theology in London to the English Presby- 
terian Church, because my field was not theology proper, but 
philosophy always in its religious bearings. I do not know 
the exact duties or emoluments of the New Jersey College ; 
yet if it affords a wider field to me, — a field for turning all 
my studies in science and philosophy to a religious account, 
— I am willing to go at my Master's command, but the in- 
vitation must come from others, and I will permit no solici- 
tation on my part directly or indirectly. I think you 
understand my position. I rejoiced more than I can tell 
you over the success of the Philadelphia Convention. It is 
a great event in the history of the Presbyterian Church. I 
was so glad to find you taking a part in it, and a part which 
led to good results. As soon as I got the accounts I wrote 
two papers, with my name sigued, for the ' Weekly Review ' 
of London, and ordered copies to be sent to you. 

" In the three kingdoms there is to be a desperate fight 
on the Endowment question. The battle is to be in Ireland, 
and I am in the heart of it. I have given my utterance. 
An attempt was made to bring me before the Assembly for 
censure. I have incurred a good deal of odium, but public 
opinion in the town is gradually coming over to the right 
side. I hope the Irish Establishment will go, and other con- 
sequences will follow. Those who stand up for the Donum 
here are combining with Begg and the Anti-Union men in 
Scotland. They feel the cause to be one. It will be a keen 
and disagreeable struggle, but under God I hope the end 
will be good." 

On February 8, 1868, he again writes : — 

" The proposal to make me President of New Jersey Uni- 
versity has come upon me with surprise. With so many 
gifted men in America, I am astonished anybody should 
think of me. I can look at the office only on one condition, 
and that is that the call comes spontaneously from the Ameri 
can side, and as a call in Providence. If it thus comes I shall 



DR. McCOSH. 189 

feel bound to consider it favorably. There are some things 
which would incline me towards it. I should feel it an 
honor to be in an office filled by such Presidents, from 
Edwards to Maclean. I should willingly let my bones be 
buried in the spot where these Presidents sleep. I was 
greatly impressed with the abilities and character of the 
Professors in the College and Seminary, and feel that I 
could pleasantly spend my days among them. 

" My past experience as a minister, first in the Church of 
Scotland, and then in the Free Church, and latterly as a 
Professor in the last established University in these king- 
doms, and my rather wide studies, may, with the blessing of 
God, be turned into some use. I feel especially that I might 
have more freedom there to promote the cause of Christ 
than in a State college in this divided country, — that is, 
Ireland. 

" There are considerations on the other side which I can- 
not look at at present, such as love to the old country and 
attachment to friends. I am glad you do not ask me to 
commit myself. 

" If no call comes, I am not disappointed, as I have made 
no application, and cherished no hopes. If the call comes, I 
am bound to consider it fairly and prayerfulty. I was not just 
offered the chair in London. But influential parties wrote 
me, pressing me to allow myself to be nominated. To each 
of them I wrote an immediate declination, my ground being 
the same as induced me to decline the call of the Assembly 
to a Free Church chair in Glasgow, — that, having devoted so 
many years to philosophy in its various bearings, I was not 
fit to teach theology. But I offered, if they did not ask me 
to separate myself from my chair here and from philosophy, 
to deliver a course of lectures to them every spring on the 
subjects lying between theology and science. The Synod 
does not meet till April. My proposal was private, and may 
not amount to anything. 

" Thank God, I am well and have plenty of work. I began 



190 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

here in the College with about forty students ; of late years, 
the names of my students have numbered from one hundred 
to a hundred and thirty-five." 

Little has been said so far of Mr. Carter's General As- 
sembly experiences. These formed a very interesting 
part of his life, and it is a great pity that a full record 
of them has not been kept. He was seventeen times a 
delegate, and took part in many important sessions, 
especially during the Eeunion of the Old and New 
School Presbyterian churches. At one of the earlier 
meetings which he attended, the subject of ministerial 
relief was brought up. He arose and told the following 
story. Some years before, he had heard that a friend 
of his, minister to one of the poorer congregations in 
New York City, was ill, and he went to see him. He 
was evidently consumptive, and told Mr. Carter that 
his physician had said that he ought to go South, as he 
could not live through the Northern winter. " Why 
do you not start at once ? " said Mr. Carter ; " it is 
cold weather now." The sick man requested his wife 
to leave the room, and said, " Mr. Carter, I have not a 
dollar in the world. My people can do nothing more 
for me. The doctor wants me to borrow money to go 
South as a means of saving my life, but I am not will- 
ing to run the risk of leaving my family with a burden 
of debt, if I am to die after all." Mr. Carter was a poor 
man then himself, but he started a subscription, giving 
all he could, and went about among his friends asking 
for help. The sympathies of one benevolent lady were 
so aroused, that she got into her sleigh in the midst of 
a blinding snow-storm and collected from her relatives, 
and Mr. Carter went in a few days with five hundred dol- 
lars to the poor invalid, and laid the money on the coun- 
terpane before him. The good man clasped his hands, 



GENERAL ASSEMBLIES. 191 

and with streaming eyes thanked God for his great 
bounty towards him. Then, turning to Mr. Carter, he 
said, " You and your friends have been very good to me. 
I never had so much money in my life before. I can- 
not go South ; I feel that I am growing worse every day, 
and that it is better for me to stay at home. But this 
money will be a provision for my family, and I feel 
confident that the Lord who has dealt so graciously 
with me will be with my wife and children after I am 
gone." After his death, his wife went into business in 
a very small way, keeping what was called a thread 
and needle shop. She had a hard struggle, but found 
friends, and was never forsaken. 

From this story Mr. Carter made an urgent appeal 
that the church at large should do systematically what 
a few friends had done in this individual case. Many 
of the friends of ministerial relief have spoken of a new 
interest in the cause dating from this speech. 

In 1863, Mr. Carter was a delegate to the Old School 
Assembly at Peoria. It was in the early days of the 
Eeunion movement, and friendly resolutions were ex- 
changed with the New School Assembly, meeting at 
Philadelphia. The following year, 1864, he was again 
a delegate at Newark, New Jersey. Here an informal 
meeting of ministers and elders was held for conference 
upon the expediency and feasibility of organic Eeunion. 

In November, 1867, he went as a delegate to a great 
National Presbyterian Convention, held in Philadelphia, 
" for prayer and conference in regard to the terms of 
union and communion among the various branches of 
the Presbyterian family." The call for this convention 
originated with his old and valued friend, George H. 
Stuart, Esq., who presided over the meetings. On the 
first morning there was an elders' prayer meeting at 



192 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

nine o'clock, and at ten o'clock a general prayer meet- 
ing presided over by the Eev. B. W. Chidlaw, of Ohio, 
another loved and honored friend of Mr. Carter's. Mr. 
Chidlaw has authorized the following quotation from 
his book, " The Story of my Life." 

"At the expiration of the half-hour, I received a note 
from the chairman of the committee to nominate permanent 
officers, asking the continuance of the prayer meeting for 
fifteen minutes, when they would be ready to report. After 
reading the note, I requested some brother to lead in prayer. 
The response lingered. Just then I caught the eye of Rob- 
ert Carter, of New York, and asked him to pray. He stood 
up before the Lord, and in Scriptural language bewailed and 
confessed the sin of division, his voice tremulous and pene- 
trating, and full of pathos ; then, as if relieved of a heavy 
burden, he pleaded earnestly for the fulfilment of the Sav- 
iour's prayer for the unity of his people and the spread of 
the Gospel at home and abroad. 

" This prayer was a wonderful outpouring of a soul en- 
dowed with an unction from the Holy One, and its effect on 
the audience was marvellous, melted into tears and awe- 
struck in the presence of our prayer-hearing and prayer- 
answering God. The unbroken silence that followed told 
the impression produced. We were dumb before the Lord, 
whose presence we so fully realized. 

" The committee reported, and their nominations were 
unanimously confirmed. They had failed to agree, and 
wanted further time. At the last moment, and in a way 
that they knew not, they harmonized during the time when 
Robert Carter was in prayer, became of one mind, and 
united in presenting their report. It was said that Rev. 
Dr. Musgrave, a leader in the Old School, rather indifferent, 
if not opposed, to Reunion, was so impressed with the 
prayer of Robert Carter that he became one of its strongest 
friends and ablest advocates." 



NATIONAL PRESBYTERIAN CONVENTION. 193 

Mr. George H. Stuart says that, afterwards, " One of 
the members of the committee was anxious to have the 
report recommitted, not to change its essential features 
in any particular, but that so important a document 
might have the benefit of a little more careful revision 
from a literary point of view. A motion to this effect 
was made soon after the Convention was opened, but 
was strongly opposed by Dr. Musgrave, who had been 
regarded as an opponent of union, on the ground 
that the report came in answer to the prayers of the 
Convention, which had spent the time that the com- 
mittee had been deliberating in prayer for their guid- 
ance. So the motion to recommit was withdrawn." 
Mr. Stuart refers to this prayer as one " of wonderful 
fervor, which seemed to touch every heart." Some one 
else has referred to this prayer as an " effectual, fervent 
prayer of a righteous man, which prevailed on earth as 
well as in heaven." " As a prince hast thou power with 
God and with men, and hast prevailed." 

This convention was a season of unbounded pleasure 
to Mr. Carter. He loved to speak of the many striking 
and dramatic scenes which characterized it, and which 
are familiar to most Presbyterian readers, for this was the 
period of the crystallization of the Eeunion movement. 

It was announced to the Convention that especial 
prayer had been offered for the success of the Eeunion at 
the annual meeting of the Evangelical Societies of the 
Episcopal Church, which was in progress in Philadelphia 
at that time. A committee, consisting of Dr. Henry 
B. Smith, Dr. J. M. Stevenson, the Hon. Judge Drake, 
and Mr. Eobert Carter, was appointed to convey frater- 
nal greetings to the Episcopal brethren. They were 
received with the utmost enthusiasm, the whole congre- 
gation rising to welcome them. The Episcopal As- 

13 



194 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

sembly resolved to attend the Presbyterian Convention 
in a body the next morning, and be present while 
Bishops Mcllvaine and Lee and others presented their 
salutations. A most striking and interesting scene in 
this reception was when the venerable Bishop Charles 
Mcllvaine and the equally venerable Dr. Charles Hodge 
sprang to each other's embrace upon the platform, each 
greeting the other as " Charlie," as in the old famil- 
iar days when they were together in Princeton College 
and Seminary. 

Afterwards Dr. Hodge said, " I hope this audience 
will pardon a reference which might seem personal 
under any other circumstances than the present. You, 
Bishop Mcllvaine, and Bishop Johns, whom I had 
hoped to see on this occasion, and I were boys together 
in Princeton College fifty years ago. Evening after 
evening have we knelt together in prayer. We were 
baptized in spirit together in the great revival of 1815 
in that institution, we sat together year after year in the 
same class-rooms, and we were instructed by the same 
venerable theological teachers. You have gone your 
way and I mine ; but I will venture to say that I do not 
believe that in all that time you have preached any 
one sermon which I would not have rejoiced to have 
delivered. I feel the same confidence in saying that 
I never preached a sermon which you would not have 
cordially indorsed. Here we now stand, gray-headed, 
side by side, after more than fifty years, the repre- 
sentatives of these two great bodies, feeling for each 
other the same intimate and cordial love, looking not 
backwards, not downwards, at the grave at our very 
feet, but onward to the coming glory. Sir, were not 
your Church and ours rocked in the same cradle ? Have 
they not passed through the same Eed Sea of trial ? 



REUNION. 195 

Did they not receive the same baptism of the Spirit ? 
What difference is there between the Thirty-Nine 
Articles and our Confession greater than the differ- 
ence between the different parts of one great cathedral 
anthem that rises to the skies. We stand here to de- 
clare to the w T hole world that we are one in faith, one in 
baptism, and one in allegiance to our Lord." 

This interview between two of his beloved friends 
was very delightful to Mr. Carter, who always loved to 
dwell upon its memory. 

The following year, 1868, Mr. Carter was again a 
delegate to the General Assembly, which met in Al- 
bany, and at which the subject of Eeunion was the 
prominent topic. Towards the close of the session, 
which was a very exciting one, a committee, consisting 
of Drs. Beatty and Eeed, and Elders Eobert Carter and 
Henry Day, was sent to confer with the New School 
Assembly at Harrisburg. They were very kindly and 
warmly received, and, after speeches from each member 
of the committee, Dr. Nelson rose and asked Mr. Car- 
ter if he would answer a few questions. " Certainly." 
" What is the position of the Old School Assembly in 
regard to Eeunion ? " Mr. Carter replied, that a large 
majority favored it heartily, but that he must acknowl- 
edge that a minority were opposed to it, " What is the 
character of that minority ? " " It is mostly composed 
of the older men whom we honor as fathers. But may 
I not plead that the greatest consideration should be 
bestowed on these venerable men ? Let me tell an inci- 
dent which occurred many years ago in Scotland. The 
old Earl of Kilmarnock and his son fought on opposite 
sides at the battle of Culloden. After the victory, 
the son was standing with a party of officers on the 
field when a company of prisoners were brought in, 



196 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

among them the old Earl, bare-headed, his white hair 
streaming in the wind. The son spoke no word, but 
stepped forward and placed his own hat on the head of 
his father. So should we bear ourselves to those loved 
and honored fathers, who conscientiously dissent from 
us." The New School brethren had been feeling a little 
restive under the slower movements of the Old School 
Assembly, but " these words produced a profound im- 
pression, and were among the gentle and Christ-like influ- 
ences which smoothed over all difficulties, and brought 
about at length the reunion of the Church." 

Dr. Ellinwood, from whom the last sentence is quoted, 
adds : " This incident was characteristic of Mr. Carter 
in all his relations, and in all his Christian activities. 
This same spirit which favored progress on the one 
hand, and conciliation and forbearance on the other, 
characterized his whole course. As a rule, he voted 
for every wise measure of progress. There was a bright 
and hopeful energy to his mind even to fourscore years. 
He was not bound to the past. He expected progress, 
as he earnestly prayed for it. He realized that many of 
the old moulds and measurements must be outgrown." 

After leaving the New School Assembly at Harris- 
burg, Mr. Carter returned to his own Assembly at 
Albany, and made his report with the others of his 
committee. He was then sent to convey the greetings 
of the Old School Assembly to the United Presbyterian 
General Assembly at Argyle, New York. There he 
met with a hearty Scotch reception, and made a most 
felicitous speech. Thus he on three successive days 
addressed three separate General Assemblies. 

In 1869, he was a delegate to the General Assembly 
meeting at New York, at which Eeunion was consum- 
mated. He was a member of the Conference Committee 



REUNION. 197 

to prepare the plan of Eeunion, and he entered with all 
his heart into the work, and into the rejoicing over its 
accomplishment. It was a great delight to him to take 
part in the adjourned meeting of the Assembly, which 
took place at Pittsburg, in November, 1869. All the 
jubilation over Eeunion was entirely after his own 
mind. There was no happier heart in the procession, 
as Old School and New, after pouring out of their re- 
spective places of assembly, met in the street and formed 
ranks anew, "the Old and New grasping each other, 
and amidst welcomes, thanksgivings, and tears, they 
locked arms and stood together in their reformed rela- 
tions." At the end of the grand Eeunion meeting in the 
First Church of Pittsburg, "the Moderator called on 
Mr. Eobert Carter, Euling Elder from New York, to 
offer prayer. This he did with great unction, and, in 
hearty sympathy with the occasion, the great Assembly 
melted together at the throne of grace." 

The following year Mr. Carter met again with the re- 
united Assembly at Philadelphia, and bore his share in 
the great work of reorganization. He was afterwards a 
delegate to Baltimore and Buffalo, but was obliged to 
leave Buffalo before the close of the session, and was 
told by his physician that a man of his age should not 
again attempt sitting in a deliberative body. 



CHAPTEE VIII. 

ONE of the authors to whom Mr. Carter was friend 
as well as publisher was the Eev. Dr. Cuyler. 
He kindly furnishes the following reminiscences of 
their intercourse. 

" The first time I saw my honored and beloved friend, 
Robert Carter, was about fifty-two years ago. 

" I was then a schoolboy of sixteen, reviewing my studies 
in the Grammar School of the New York University in 
preparation to enter Princeton College. He was then keep- 
ing the little bookstore in Canal Street, which had lately 
become somewhat famous and popular by the issue of the 
cheap edition of Merle d'Aubigne's ' History of the Refor- 
mation.' My good mother took me there with her when 
she was in pursuit of some devotional books, such as Jay's 
* Morning Exercises.' He had a taste and appetite for that 
class of savory books, as a Scotchman has for oatmeal por- 
ridge and Finnan haddies, and those who relished strong 
spiritual food knew that they would find it at the modest 
shop in Canal Street. Ministers resorted there somewhat 
on Monday mornings ; but they came in much larger num- 
bers when he opened his more extensive bookstore in Broad- 
way, near Chambers Street. It was there that I formed my 
first personal acquaintance with him, about the year 1850. 
It soon ripened into friendship ; and I have known him in- 
timately and loved him warmly for forty years. 

" Some of our most delightful intercourse was at Sara- 
toga, where we spent several summers together under the 



LETTER FROM DR. CUYLER. 199 

roof of Dr. Strong. He was a great favorite there with 
everybody ; and when he sat down for a talk on the piazza, 
the guests used to gather round and listen to his lively rem- 
iniscences and vivacious conversation, which was always 
' seasoned with salt.' He was genial and relished pleasan- 
tries, but he was never frivolous. Into the daily exercises of 
family worship he entered with all his heart ; and his pray- 
ers were wonderfully rich in expression and full of holy 
unction. The singing he enjoyed hugely, and I w 7 ell remem- 
ber the first time he heard that simple hymn, k The Sweet 
By and By,' with its beautiful melody, it so delighted him 
that he went to the lady and asked her to sing it again for 
him. 

" He used to drive out with his wife in the summer after- 
noons, and often invited me to accompany them. We 
scoured together all the country roads around Saratoga ; and 
we had some rare talks about old and cherished friends, such 
as Dr. James Hamilton, Dr. Guthrie, and good old Dr. John 
Griscom, who had been almost his earliest friend and adviser 
upon his arrival in America. I knew Griscom well, and how 
dearly he was attached to Robert Carter. 

" It was at Saratoga that he delivered that remarkable 
address before the ' State Institute of Teachers ' at one of 
their annual meetings. In that address he narrated in the 
most racy style the story of his childhood in Earlston, and 
the struggle through which he passed in gaining his early 
education. It was very like the story which the great mis- 
sionary, John G. Paton, tells of his own boyhood in his 
godly father's cottage in Dumfriesshire. The address 
was listened to with the keenest delight by the whole 
assembly. 

" When we got home I said to him, ' Brother Carter, you 
ought to write out and print that charming bit of autobiog- 
raphy ; it is as racy as Benjamin Franklin's story of his own 
boyhood and youth.' It is from such pictures of personal 
experience that we get our best insight into the heart and 



200 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

home life of the past generation. Even dear old Scotland 
is changing so fast, that the manner of life depicted by him 
and by Paton will soon be a beautiful reminiscence of things 
utterly departed. 

"In 1862 I met Mr. Carter in London, and we attended 
together a service preparatory to the communion in Dr. 
James Hamilton's Eegent Square Presbyterian Church. 
That man of blessed memory, Dr. Arnot, was with us. I 
gave a brief discourse on ' Love-service for Jesus,' and we 
all had a pleasant interview afterwards. Those three beloved 
friends, Hamilton, Arnot, and Carter, are now together ' be- 
fore the throne of God and of the Lamb.' 

" In the last letter that I ever received from Dr. John 
Brown, the immortal author of * Bab and his Friends,' the 
Doctor wrote, ' Give my love to dear old Eobert Carter, and 
tell him that Earlston still flourishes.' 

"The hours which I have spent with your venerated 
father were among the happiest and most profitable of my 
life. He was a full man, and his talk was like turning the 
faucet of a reservoir. His letters also were the outflow of a 
beautiful and sincere affection. He belonged to that re- 
markable group of New York laymen which embraced also 
such choice spirits as Apollos E. Wetmore, William B. 
Crosby, Theodore Frelinghuysen, James Lenox, and Wil- 
liam E. Dodge. To him the Church of Christ and many 
a movement of Christian philanthropy owe a debt of pro- 
found gratitude. He contributed more than money, he gave 
himself. 

" It was a precious privilege to spend a half-hour with 
my beloved old friend when he was lying calmly on that 
pillow from which in a few days he passed sweetly into 
heaven. His blood-washed spirit was already in the 'land 
of Beulah,' and in the full view of the Celestial City. Having 
lived so long and so well, he had nothing to do but to die. 
Death was to him the translation to glory. When he left 
us, he left no more sturdy or steadfast servant of God 



PRESIDENT HOPKINS. 201 

behind him. I rejoice that I had such a happy friend- 
ship with him for forty years, and shall always cherish 
the memory of my revered and beloved friend, Robert 
Carter." 

The visits to Saratoga were very delightful to Mr. 
Carter. Dr. Strong's house was a sort of ministerial 
caravansary, and the society was very congenial. For 
a time he went there every summer for a few weeks, 
and once, when recovering from a long and severe ill- 
ness, was there for three months. That summer Dr. 
Mark Hopkins was there for a while, and they had 
long talks on the piazza together. The grand old 
Doctor had just resigned the presidency of Williams 
College. In one of their chats, he told Mr. Carter that 
his dear friend, Mr. William E. Dodge, had for some 
years supplemented the President's salary by giving 
him the interest of $30,000. When he resigned the 
presidency, he said to the directors that he could no 
longer take this, but it must go to his successor. The 
directors told him that he must settle that with Mr. 
Dodge. Accordingly Dr. Hopkins spoke to him about 
it. Mr. Dodge made answer, "You may do as you 
please about taking the money, but it was intended 
for you personally, and not as President, and if you do 
not accept it, it reverts to me. Tf you take it as long 
as you live, at your death it will go to the College." 
With the utmost simplicity, Dr. Hopkins, after finish- 
ing the story, said, " Mr. Carter, what could I do ? " 
With a twinkle in his eye, Mr. Carter responded, 
" Surely there was but one course open to you." 

Another incident of this summer was connected with 
the Eev. Joel Parker, D.D., who was spending some 
weeks with his wife at Dr. Strong's, and with whom 
Mr. and Mrs. Carter became quite intimate. One day 



202 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

a man came to Mr. Carter seeking a supply for a 
church a few miles off, and asked him if there were 
any good preachers at Dr. Strong's. Mr. Carter told 
him he could find no one better than Dr. Parker, and 
accordingly brought the two together. Dr. Parker 
agreed to preach, and after going through the day's 
services one of the trustees asked him what he charged. 
He made answer, that he was not accustomed to make 
a charge, but took whatever the congregation thought 
right to give. " I suppose your return ticket cost you 
one dollar and eighty cents. Here are two dollars, — 
never mind the change." When Dr. Parker returned 
and told his story to a group of ministerial friends, 
there was a good deal of laughter at his expense, and 
one of the listeners said, " Mr. Carter got you the job, 
and you ought to divide the profits with him. You 
certainly owe him ten cents." " On the contrary," 
said Mr. Carter, "Dr. Parker ought to have received 
at least twenty dollars for his services, and I ought to 
share the loss, and here are the ten dollars." 

Mr. Carter while at Saratoga regularly attended the 
noonday prayer meeting, and frequently took part in 
it. Prayer was to him "vital breath" and "native 
air." He went to such meetings, not from a mere 
sense of duty, but from keen enjoyment. 

Another author with whom Mr. Carter had very de- 
lightful relations was Dr. Bickersteth, now Bishop of 
Exeter. He had long known and loved the Bishops 
father, Rev. Edward Bickersteth, one of England's most 
saintly clergymen, and when the son published "Yes- 
terday, To-day, and Forever," Mr. Carter read it with 
exceeding pleasure. He at once brought it out in 
America, and it was one of his most successful pub- 
lications, reaching a circulation of more than fifty 



BISHOP BICKERSTETH. 203 

thousand copies. Dr. Bickersteth was from this time 
one of his regular correspondents, and when he visited 
America, in 1870, they had much tender intercourse. 
Two letters of Dr. Bickersteth's are here inserted. 
The first bears date November 10, 1871: — 

" I was so grieved to hear from Dr. Kay Palmer this week 
that you have been suffering from intermittent fever. I 
fear from what your brother wrote, two or three months 
ago, that you have been far from strong this summer, but 
had cherished the hope that the change of air would have 
recruited you. But our Father's ways are not as ours, — only, 
however, because they are so infinitely higher, wiser, better, 
and tenderer. And you, dear friend, who have proved His 
love for so many years of your pilgrimage will find His ever- 
lasting arms beneath you, and His Spirit's consolations over 
you in your hours of weakness. 'Jesus constrained his disci- 
ples to get into a ship/ though He knew the tempestuous, 
weary night was before them. Yet He was praying for them 
on the mountain top, and at His own chosen hour, in the 
fourth watch towards morning, He came when they were 
least expecting him, saying, ' It is I, be not afraid.' May 
He thus speak to your heart, and manifest Himself to you 
as not to the world, and fill you with the joy of His presence 
and His peace, and if it be His gracious will, raise you up to 
testify in after years that He is indeed a watchful Friend in 
sorrow, — the Brother born for adversity. I must not at- 
tempt to write more, for I know sickness cannot bear many 
words, but must assure you that our poor prayers will be 
with you and with your anxious loving wife, to whom and to 
your brother please convey my most grateful remembrances." 

The second letter is dated from Cromer, Norfolk, 
August 24, 1873 : — 

" I do not know whether the great sorrow which has shad- 
owed my home will have caught your eye in any English 



204 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

paper, but on August 2d my fondly loved wife was called 
to her rest, after only three days' serious illness, in this lonely 
seaside place, whither we had come for a few weeks' recrea- 
tion. It was heart complaint. I had no serious fear until 
late on Wednesday, July 30th, and at four o'clock on Satur- 
day morning my beloved one was with her Saviour. 

" Not a shadow of fear clouded her peaceful and holy 
death-bed. She gathered our twelve children all around 
her bed, and spoke words of priceless love and motherly 
counsel to each. 

" You will pray for us. 

" The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed 
be the name of the Lord. The Voice has been heard every 
hour, ' It is 1/ and Jesus has been with me in the deep, deep 
waters which have gone over my soul. He has been so near 
and so tender ! There has not been one drop of bitterness 
in the deep cup of sorrow, — nothing but love, Divine love, 
the love we cannot fathom or explain. 

" We return to our shadowed home, D. V., next week. 
You will, I know, pray for us. Will you forward this note to 
dear Dr. Tyng and Dr. Ray Palmer. I find it very difficult 
to write all the letters which my heart prompts me to send. 
But it is sweet to think how much brotherly love will pour 
itself out for us in prayer in America. 

" Believe ever, in the bonds of the Gospel, your sorely 
stricken and yet comforted friend." 

Another very intimate and beloved friend was Rev. 
Dr. Muhlenberg, so long prominent in benevolent work. 
He was a kindred spirit with Mr. Carter, who entered 
heartily into the Doctor's philanthropic schemes, which 
gave constant opportunities for their being together. Dr. 
Muhlenberg spent his latter days at St. Luke's Hospital, 
which he himself founded, and which is his appropriate 
monument. In his last illness Mr. Carter constantly 
visited him there, and used to say he was like St. John 



GOLDEN WEDDING. 205 

in Patmos, with his thoughts filled with bright visions 
of the celestial country he was so soon to enter. Their 
communion was most sweet, and it was a very precious 
memory to Mr. Carter that at their last interview Dr. 
Muhlenberg drew him towards him for a farewell em- 
brace and kiss. 

On March 18, 1884, came the Golden Wedding of 
Mr. and Mrs. Carter. The family had been looking 
forward to it as a time of special rejoicing, though all 
the wedding days were regularly kept. On this there 
was to have been as great a jubilation as Mrs. Carter's 
very feeble health would allow, but just the week before 
she was stricken down with a very dangerous illness, 
and almost passed through the gates of death. When 
the wedding day came, though convalescent, she was 
confined to her bed, and none were admitted to her room 
but her children, who assembled about her, offering their 
congratulations very quietly. It had been arranged 
that each one of the children and grandchildren should 
write them a congratulatory letter, and these letters 
were afterwards bound together in a book with Mr. and 
Mrs. Carter's pictures. This was an entire surprise to 
the recipients, and gave them the greatest possible 
pleasure. The letter of the oldest son is here inserted 
as giving an idea of the volume. 

u As I begin to write to congratulate you on the fiftieth re- 
turn of your wedding anniversary, there come floating through 
my brain a host of texts from that volume, which, thanks 
to your training, has become the best loved and most studied 
of all books. I remember with gratitude how I used to sit 
beside mother in my eighth year reading the Bible, and 
asking her questions about its meaning, and how during that 
year I finished reading the good book through. Thus 'from 
a child ' I have ' known the Scriptures,' because you taught 



206 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

your children to obey the command and ' search the Scrip- 
tures.' And not merely did you teach us to read the Bible 
and explain to us its meaning, but your lives in general as 
seen by us and your conduct towards us in particular have 
given object lessons enabling us to understand more deeply 
and appreciate more fully than many can the meaning of 
not a few texts of Scripture. 

" The fatherhood of God has to us a meaning that it can- 
not have to many. We remember how as faithful parents 
you have chastened us for our profit, and also how, like the 
father of the prodigal, you have watched for the evidence of 
repentance, and at once given us the kindly word and the 
assurance of forgiveness. Our relation to you enables us to 
find a peculiar preciousness in what the Word of God says 
about the Great Father, 'of whom the whole family in heaven 
and earth is named.' 

" W'e remember with delight the gatherings early on 
winter evenings to listen to Bible stories from dear mother, 
till the good father came home from outside work, like David, 
1 to bless his house.' The happy home in which we all lived 
together and the happy home where we still delight to meet 
are beautiful types of the Father's house in which we all 
hope to dwell. The large-hearted love with which you have 
always welcomed the steadily increasing number of your 
children to a New England place of rest, gives us beautiful 
reminders that the Father's house has ' many mansions,' and 
that ' yet there is room ' for us all where some of us have 
already entered. 

" And when sorrow has come, how unspeakably precious 
has been your sympathy, which has taught us what is meant 
by the words, ' Like as a father pitieth his children, so the 
Lord pitieth them that fear him,' and, 'As one whom his 
mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.' 

" We thank God that our parents have imitated the 
Psalmist in his resolve, 'I will walk within my house with 
a perfect heart.' We rejoice that our father has been like 



FIFTY YEARS OF BOOK-MAKING. 207 

Abraham, * who commanded his children and his household 
after him/ and like Joshua, able to say, * As for me and my 
house we will serve the Lord ' ; while our mother, like Han- 
nah and like Eunice, has dedicated her children from the 
birth and trained them in the fear of God. When we think 
of the first commandment with promise, we are glad that we 
have parents whom we have such good cause to honor. 
Though we each have families of our own, we still re- 
joice to ' hear the instruction of a father,' and as for our 
mother, 'her children rise up and call her blessed.' May 
your lives long be spared, that we may long enjoy these 
privileges ! " 

Some of the letters from the grandsons at college 
were very full of fun, dwelling on family jokes, and 
not hesitating to indulge in what might be called teas- 
ing of the venerable bride and groom. Some one who 
read the letters said, " Is it possible that a man of Mr. 
Carter's dignified character allows his grandchildren 
to address him in such familiar terms?" "You little 
know Mr. Carter," was the reply, " if you imagine that 
his grandchildren stand in awe of him. They them- 
selves do not enjoy their fun more than he does." 

Many beautiful gifts were sent him, some of them 
with a tender sentiment attached. One that pleased 
him much was a vase with fifty lovely roses, from the 
printer that he had employed for fifty years. 

On the 1st of April he passed the fiftieth anniver- 
sary of entering into business. The publishers of New 
York united in sending him the following testimonial. 

New York, April 1, 1884. 
Mr. Robert Carter, New York : 

Dear Sir, — Your friends and associates in the book- 
publishing and book-selling trade of this city desire, on the 



208 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

fiftieth anniversary of your entrance upon the business, to 
convey to you their best regards and congratulations. 

Some of us are the sons and successors of your early 
contemporaries ; others are the representatives of a later 
generation ; but the good will and kindly feeling which you 
commanded at the beginning, you have continued to retain 
through all the succeeding years of an honorable career. 
In your fifty years of business life, you have seen the won- 
derful growth of the American publishing trade, and have 
borne a conspicuous part in the development and mainte- 
nance of that important branch which you originally chose, 
and to which you have ever adhered. You have survived, 
with but one or two exceptions, those who were in business 
when you began, and are still able to take a part in the 
management of your well established house. 

In all these years of activity and of many changes, you 
have made no enemies, and have constantly added to the 
number of your friends. You have conducted an exacting 
and difficult business with dignity and success, and in the 
serene years of later life are permitted to fully enjoy the 
substantial fruits of your industrious enterprise and unques- 
tioned fidelity. 

Be pleased, then, on this notable anniversary, to accept our 
congratulations and hearty good wishes for your continued 
health and prosperity, and believe us, 

Very sincerely, yours, 
D. Appleton & Co. Baker, Pratt, & Co. 

Jno. Wiley & Son. 0. M. Dunham, Manager Cas- 

Collins & Brother. sell & Co. 

G. P. Putnam's Sons. Henry Holt & Co. 

Dodd, Mead, & Co. Charles T. Dillingham. 

Ivison, Blakeman, Taylor, & Taintor Bros., Merrill, & Co. 
Co. The American News Company. 

Sheldon & Company. E. P. Dutton & Co. 

A. C. Armstrong & Son. James Pott & Co. 

Clark & Maynard. T. Whittaker. 

H. E. Simmons, Bus. Agt. Am. E. & J. B. Young & Co. 
Tract. Soc. Caleb T. Rowe. 



FIFTY YEARS OF BOOK-MAKING. 209 

Phillips & Hunt. Geo. S. Scofield. 

Harper Bros. A. D. F. Randolph & Co. 

D. Van Nostrand. Gavin Houston, Manager of 
Chas. S. Francis. T. Nelson & Sons. 

David G. Francis. Joseph L. Blamire, Agt. for 
George R. Lockwood & Son. Geo. Routledge & Sons. 

A. S. Barnes & Co. G. W. Carleton & Co. 

Charles Scribner's Sons. F. W. Christern. 

There were many notices of this anniversary in the 
secular press and also in religious papers of all denom- 
inations. From an article in the Observer, by Mr. 
A. D. F. Kandolph, the following is quoted : — 

" You will agree with me that fifty years of a life devoted 
as this has been to the making of books, not one of which 
might make men worse, but ought to make them better, 
may well have a word of recognition in the Observer. . . . 
He chose to be a publisher of religious books ; to his early 
choice he has ever substantially adhered, while from the 
day he began down to the present hour he has never for- 
gotten his responsibility as a publisher. And thus for half 
a century he has been doing a wholesome, honest, beneficent 
work. He has seen great changes, — seen also the wonderful 
development of the publishing business in this country. He 
has passed though many seasons of general business depres- 
sion, and yet maintained his own credit unimpaired. Year 
by year, as his business grew into larger proportions, he still 
continued to conduct it w T ith dignity, integrity, and success. 
He has kept before the public such old worthies as Matthew 
Henry, Poole, Rutherford, Boston, and others of the elder 
saints, while he has given us Chalmers and Guthrie and 
Hamilton, and Ryle and Bonar and Macduff, and a host of 
other theological and practical writers, to say nothing of the 
long list of minor authors, — those who have written for 
children and young people. Not an evil book in all the list, 
— not one that does not teach some important truth. Who 
can estimate the value and extent of his influence as a pub- 

14 



210 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

lisher 1 — what a factor it has been in the religious educa- 
tion of the country 1 

" And he has been something more than the successful 
business man. In the church and its benevolent boards, in 
assemblies and synods, in religious and educational societies, 
as among his brethren in the trade, he has ever been known 
not only for the consistency of his walk, but for the wisdom 
of his counsel and the constant liberality of his gifts. 

" He remains still vigorous, cheerful, hopeful, still inter- 
ested in the world's needs and progress, and ever ready to 
aid a worthy cause. Beloved and honored by all who per- 
sonally know him, he is not only without enemies, but with 
troops of friends the whole world over. 

" So much have I ventured to say to the public through 
you of our old and dear friend, who has so long been a 
teacher and benefactor of his fellow men." 

To this Dr. Samuel Irenseus Prime added : — 

" He was the first publisher whose acquaintance I formed 
in New York, and the acquaintance ripened into a pleasant 
friendship, now as bright as it ever was. In all these years 
no book from his press has afforded me a chance (and I 
have kept a sharp lookout) for unfavorable criticism. Every 
one has been in the line of Christian usefulness. Men who 
hold views of religious doctrine not in the same line with 
his may not approve of them all, but I am not afraid to say 
that good, strong, stalwart Christian citizens are fed on such 
meat as he sells, and the more of it that is consumed, the 
more wholesome and happy will be the church and people. 

"To make a really good book is grand. To publish hun- 
dreds of thousands of such books, and to pass half a century 
in the work, is sublime. Therefore I congratulate my friend 
Hubert Carter on the comfortable completion of his fifty 
years as a publisher, on the prosperity of his business, which 
lias abundantly provided for him in his old age, on the 
peace and happiness with which the evening of his life is 



DEATH OF HIS WIFE. 211 

blessed, and on the assurance that his sun is setting to rise in 
eternal day." 

We here insert an extract from a letter from Dr. 
Macduff, of Glasgow, which was received about this 
time. It was one of many in which this dear friend 
indulged in pleasant reminiscence of intercourse in by- 
gone times. The letter bears date Chiselhurst, Kent, 
February 3, 1885. 

" I have duly received, and with most cordial thanks, your 
kind letter and its enclosures. Can it be, as you say, twenty- 
four years since you and I met in Paris, then in Geneva, and 
on a chilly early morning walked up and down the railroad 
station at Basle % Yes, and another memory : since James 
Hamilton and myself met you in the back room in Berners 
Street, the former hailing you in the broadest of broad 
Scotch 1 It looks all so dream-like and so recent ! Then 
to think that Hamilton, Watson, Taylor, Murray, and old 
William Nisbet, whose face and form were so familiar in that 
' Evangelical haunt,' are all passed away to their rest, after 
having done in their various ways good and noble duty for 
the Master. You and I God has in His great mercy still 
spared to wait His gracious summons. But I must not 
wander into the region of sentiment." 

The spring of 1885 brought him a great sorrow in 
the failing health of his son-in-law, Eev. I. W. Cochran, 
who died in his house in February, 1887. This he was 
heard to say was the greatest grief of his life, until in 
July of the same year his beloved wife was taken from 
him. At the time of her death, they were staying in a 
beautiful place on Long Island Sound, where for some 
years they had assembled the family gathering in the 
summer. As there was no church near, and as the 
party was a very large one, they were accustomed on 



212 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

Sundays to assemble under the trees, and have a regular 
church service of their own in the open air, at which 
one of the ministerial sons generally preached. The 
last Sunday of her life was a perfectly lovely day, and, 
as usual, this open-air service was very delightful to her. 
She greatly enjoyed the reading by her husband of a 
sermon by Spurgeon, who was a great favorite of both. 
In the afternoon, she attended the usual family Sunday 
school, and through the day there was much singing of 
her favorite hymns. She spoke of it in the evening as 
a perfectly happy Sabbath. 

The next day she was not very well, and kept her 
bed, but was quietly happy. No one entered her room 
but received some word of tenderness. Afterwards 
many of the loving speeches that were habitual with 
her, but would not have been remembered if they had 
not been her last, were treasured up as a sacred legacy 
by those to whom they were spoken. 

When her husband awoke on Tuesday morning, he 
said that his heart went up in thankfulness to God 
that she had had an unusually good night, for ill health 
often made her wakeful. He dressed quietly that he 
might not disturb her, and then noticed that her head 
had sunk into an uncomfortable position. He attempted 
to raise it, and saw that there was something wrong, 
and called for assistance. A doctor was hastily sum- 
moned, and said that she had had a stroke of apoplexy. 
She lay in an unconscious state, looking as if asleep, 
and breathing softly as a little child, until about two 
o'clock, when gently, without a struggle, she went home. 
After she had passed away, her husband took up her 
lifeless hand, saying, " I am alone now." 

His grief was pathetic in its gentleness and tender- 
ness and submission. He said over and over again, " I 



DEATH OF HIS WIFE. 213 

don't want to murmur ; I hope I don't murmur." But 
no one but himself would ever have thought of using the 
word in connection with his saintly though deep-seated 
grief. It was a comfort to him that his wife was spared 
all suffering in death, falling asleep on earth to wake in 
heaven. She had always feared death, being timid and 
self-distrustful in her disposition, and it seemed as if 
God had mercifully spared her all knowledge of the 
great change that was taking place until she saw Him, 
and was satisfied. Hers was a lovely life, crowned with 
a peaceful death. 

Mr. Carter received a very large number of letters of 
sympathy. One young friend, who had gone to a West- 
ern home, wrote : " I cannot forget my parting with her 
when I first came West. She told me that she felt that 
she should never see me again on earth, and directed me 
to live close to my early teachings. I am not what I 
should be, but the memory of those loving words has 
often been the cause of my resisting temptation, and 
now that she is gone to that better land above, they will 
be the more vividly impressed on my memory." 

Dr. Cuyler wrote : — 

" I fear that the announcement which I see in the New- 
York papers means that your dear wife is no more ! No 
more in this world, except in the hearts of her loving hus- 
band and grateful children. To be no more here is to be 
forever with the Lord. 

" If this be indeed your life companion who has been 
taken, (and I know of no other Eobert Carter,) then I ex- 
tend to you my most heartfelt condolence. I recall the 
pleasant rides and talks with you both at Saratoga in the 
years gone by, and I can imagine how lonely you must be 
after a half-century of loving fellowship. Not long, how- 
ever, will you be sundered. ' The miles to heaven/ as holy 
Rutherford says, * are few and short.' 



214 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

" But we want you to stay with us as long as you can. I 
had a talk about you with Mrs. William E. Dodge last week 
at Lake Mohonk. Her husband and you were my ideals 
among the veteran Christians of New York. 

" May the Everlasting Arms uphold you ! " 

One of the grandchildren was at a distance, and did 
not hear of her death till the night of the funeral. A 
letter from him is inserted, as showing the tender com- 
munion and. confidence that subsisted between the older 
and younger members of the family. 

"I have just received the sad news of dear Grandma's 
death. I cannot realize that I am not to see her face again. 
I have always loved her more than I can ever tell, and have 
learned lessons from her lips which I can never forget. And 
now that she is gone, I do not know what to say to you, 
upon whom this sorrow has fallen so heavily. The burden 
will be a hard one to bear ; it is hard for us ; it must be 
harder for you, who have been the fifty years' companion of 
her we have lost. And yet with all the sorrow can there not 
be found some joy in your lonely heart to-night, — joy over 
fifty years of the sweetest and holiest communion of life with 
life, — joy over the ending of what must almost have become 
a weary pilgrimage for Grandma, with her feeble strength and 
almost never-ceasing pain, — and, most of all, joy over the 
knowledge of her entrance into that home for which I am 
sure she has long been yearning] Grandma loved her own 
people dearly, but she loved her God more, and I am sure it 
that is the case heaven is a better place for her than earth. 
A life of joy and peace without pain, without disappointment, 
without sorrow, is so much better than a weak, worn life. 

" I would I could tell you all I feel, Grandfather. I know 
how black it all looks ahead, but I also know how well you 
know where to look for light. Grandma had more than com- 
pleted her threescore years and ten ; the full measure of life 
had been hers, and now that the cross is laid down, is it not 



LETTER EROM SPURGEON. 215 

better so 1 The time will not be long before you meet again ; 
but a few years at the most separate you from her, and 
the meeting will be very soon. 

" I would have liked to be with you to-day, and see her 
face once more, but the news did not come till to-night, and 
so I can only write. I think of Grandma here just as rev- 
erently as if I were in the place of mourning. 

" Dear Grandfather, I love you, and want so much to help 
you now. May God bless and keep you ! may His everlast- 
ing arms be around you, and may you find in Him all the 
peace and love and rest you need ! " 

The Sunday after Mrs. Carter died, the little " church 
in the house" assembled again in Centreport, sorely 
missing the dear one who had so greatly enjoyed the 
services of the Sunday before. Again the volume of 
Spurgeon's sermons was used, and it was found that the 
next discourse in order was entitled, " Why they leave 
us," with the text, " Father, I will that they also whom 
Thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they 
may behold my glory which Thou hast given me." It 
was preached after the deaths of Hugh St o well Brown 
and Charles Stanford. The sermon was to Mr. Carter 
exceedingly helpful and comforting, and he wrote to Mr. 
Spurgeon, telling him about both services, — how he had 
given to the wife the last pulpit message that she had 
heard on earth on that beautiful earthly Sabbath, which 
seemed a type of the heavenly Sabbath she was so soon 
to enter, and that he had comforted the husband as he 
sat sore amazed and disquieted, mourning the departure 
of his beloved one. He received the following reply. 

" Dear Friend, — I pray the Lord to sustain you under 
your grievous loss. It is well for us that the Holy Spirit 
himself undertakes the part of Comforter, for He is able to 
carry it out to the full. 



216 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

" You are a happy man to have had so good a wife for so long 
a time. In her departure there is great mercy also, for she 
passed away so sweetly. Nothing remains to be desired, for 
she has gone home beyond all question, and though she has 
left you, she has left you almost at the gates. Peace be to 
you! . . . 

" Your kind letter cheered me greatly. I have been sore 
sick, but am slowly recovering. I rejoice greatly to have 
given comfort to your dear wife, and all of you." 

In less than a month after Mrs. Carter's death, her 
dear old friend, Mrs. Downs, mother of Mrs. Samuel 
T. Carter, died in the same house after a lingering ill- 
ness. Mr. and Mrs. Carter had greatly loved and es- 
teemed her for her sweet Christian character. She died 
upon a Sunday, and in the afternoon Mr. Carter with 
his three children and their children, and Mrs. Downs's 
own family, assembled in the sitting-room and had a 
very touching service commemorative of the three 
dear ones who had so recently gone home from their 
midst, Mrs. Carter, Mrs. Downs, and Mr. Cochran. 
Each one gave some tender memory of the loved ones 
gone, — sorrowing, yet rejoicing at every remembrance 
of them. 

" For all Thy saints who from their labors rest, 
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed, 
Thy name, Jesus, be forever blessed." 

Even the very little ones brought their tribute of 
praise and love to those whom they held so dear, and 
every heart was quickened with the desire to live as 
they had lived, 

" And win with them the victor's crown of gold." 

'* blest communion, fellowship divine ! 
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine, 
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine." 



HIS INTEREST IN HIS GRANDCHILDREN. 217 

It was very touching to hear the little ones repeat 
what Papa or Grandmamma had said while yet present 
with them, and yet more sweet and tender were the 
words of the aged saint who could testify of the good- 
ness and mercy which had followed him all the days of 
his life, and which had shown itself so plainly in giv- 
ing him a wife in whom the heart of her husband could 
safely trust, who had done him " good, and not evil, all 
the days of her life." It seemed as if he was so rich in 
memories that there was room for little but gratitude. 

On this occasion he quoted Cowper's Lines on the Ke- 
ceipt of his Mother's Picture, a poem which had always 
been a great favorite with him, and expressed a desire 
that all his children and grandchildren should learn it. 

It was now decided that Mrs. Cochran, with her fa- 
therless little ones, should come into his home, to bear 
him company and guide his household. Some might 
have questioned the wisdom of bringing seven children 
under sixteen years of age into the home of a man nearly 
eighty, and one of his old friends wrote to him remon- 
strating, saying that Mr. Carter might be able to stand 
such an arrangement, but he was sure he never could. 
But the union proved a blessing to both old and young. 
Mr. Carter frequently spoke of it as one of the great 
blessings which God had vouchsafed to him in his 
bereavement. He often referred to his friend's warning, 
adding, " But he was wrong ; I have never had the 
slightest reason to regret it." The children afforded 
him pleasurable occupation. Every evening he heard 
the Latin and Greek lessons for the next day ; he ex- 
amined all the school reports, and rejoiced in every 
sign of progress. Little two year old Annie was his 
special friend. She seemed to comfort him more than 
anything else, perhaps because of her unconsciousness 



218 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

of grief. He had to be merry with the merry, loving, 
happy little baby. They would walk up and down the 
long parlor hand in hand, while the old man forgot his 
sorrows as he talked in simple language to the little 
child. But this desire of his eyes was taken from him 
at a stroke. In two days scarlet-fever laid her low, 
and she was buried by the side of her father in the old 
graveyard in Mendham. Of such bright, gentle, loving, 
docile, and happy spirits is the kingdom of heaven. Mr. 
Carter deeply mourned his little granddaughter, and his 
affections centred again upon the next oldest child, 
beautiful little golden-haired Kitty. She would nestle 
up to him saying, " I 'm your baby now, Grandpa," and 
he poured out a wealth of love upon her. He would 
make her stand beside him at evening prayers and read 
the Bible verses alternately with him and her little 
brother, and he almost always remarked at the close, 
" I never heard a child read as Kitty does." 

Five weeks from the Sunday when little Annie died, 
Kitty went with her mother to Dr. Hall's church, and 
heard him preach on the whole of the twenty-third 
Psalm. As soon as the sermon began, she whispered, 
"Where's the golden text?" and seemed very much 
astonished when she found it was a whole Psalm. In 
coming out of church, as soon as her little feet touched 
the pavement, — they were never again to stand in any 
earthly Zion, — she said, "Mamma, I know the golden 
text," and she repeated the Psalm through. When her 
OTandfather came in from his church service a little 
later, she ran up to him before he had a chance to take 
off his overcoat, and said, " Grandpa, do you want to 
know the golden text ? " and he stood still, hat and cane 
in hand, to hear her repeat it, the little one evidently 
enjoying the fact that she was taking him in by giving 



LOVE FOR HIS GRANDCHILDREN. 219 

him a Psalm when he expected a verse. It was a pic- 
ture never to be forgotten by the loving eyes that 
witnessed it, the old man and the graceful little golden- 
haired child as they enjoyed together the Psalm, verses 
of which are now engraven upon their burial stones. 
That week she was taken with that most terrible of 
diseases, membranous croup. The bright little "Sun- 
beam," the ray from the Sun of Eighteousness, was not 
to be left longer to irradiate her earthly home, but was 
taken to the city where she shall shine forever. 

Thus again, and for the last time, Mr. Carter was 
obliged to taste of the bitter cup of sorrow. Thus four 
very dear to him were carried from under his roof in 
thirteen months. He was ready to say with holy men 
of old, " I was dumb, I opened not my mouth, because 
Thou didst it." " The Lord gave, and the Lord hath 
taken away ; blessed be the name of the Lord." He 
neither " despised the chastening of the Lord " by feeling 
lightly the dispensations of his hand, nor " fainted when 
he was rebuked of him " by yielding to undue gloom 
and despondency. His eyes were ever directed above 
to the home where his beloved are, and he knew well 
that the Lord of the many mansions would erelong re- 
ceive him unto himself. 

The next summer he spent at Atlantic Highlands. 
He had for the last four summers gone to some seaside 
place, and he greatly enjoyed the water. He never 
tired of rowing and sailing, and never refused an in- 
vitation to do either. He grew as bronzed as an old sea 
captain, and was sometimes called the Ancient Mariner. 
He greatly enjoyed the services in the Methodist taber- 
nacle there, and took part in the Love Feasts and other 
services, as if he had always been accustomed to them. 
His voice was frequently heard in the social meetings. 



220 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

In the fall of this year, 1888, he made his last visit 
to his familiar haunts in Mendham, a place greatly 
endeared to him. On his last Sunday there, he went, 
as was his frequent custom, to the Methodist Sunday 
school, where he always received a hearty welcome. In 
addressing them, he said that he did not suppose he 
should ever stand before them again. As he concluded, 
the school started the hymn, "We shall meet beyond 
the river." 

That fall and winter he had a good deal of sickness, 
premonitory of his final illness, but in the intervals re- 
sumed his wonted activity. At the time of the Centen- 
nial Celebration, in 1889, Mr. Carter's children had 
rather taken it for granted that, with his failing health 
and debility, he would not care to see the procession, 
although his store would be furnished with scaffolding 
for the benefit of those who wanted to witness it ; but 
they had greatly underestimated their father's vitality 
and public spirit. Some one had made a remark, tak- 
ing for granted that he would not go, and he sat silent 
for a few moments, and then said, " I think I should 
like to go down to the procession. There will be a good 
many at the store who would like to see me." And 
after a moment's pause he added, " and a good many 
whom I should like to see." Of course all were de- 
lighted to have him there, and he entered into all the 
doings of both days with the interest of a boy. His 
was a spirit that never grew old. 

When the General Assembly met in New York, in 
1889, Mr. Carter was confined to his room while re- 
covering from a severe illness. He was well enough, 
however, to receive a large number of his old friends, 
and to take a lively interest in reports of the proceed- 
ings. He especially enjoyed at this time a visit from 



LAST DAYS OF ACTIVITY. 221 

his nephew, Eev. Dr. Thomas Carter Kirkwood of Colo- 
rado. This dear friend, when asked, a year later, for 
suggestions as to his uncle's Memorial, answered, " Lay 
stress upon the mention of his great kindness to theo- 
logical students." 

Early in June, he went with his son Eobert and his 
granddaughter to visit his oldest son at Boonton, New 
Jersey, while his daughter with her children went 
to their old home in Mendham. After his arrival in 
Boonton, he penned to his daughter what was perhaps 
his last autograph letter, in which he says : " All are 
very kind. I need no help which is not readily given. 
But still I miss your loving care. You have been a 
great comfort to me since your dear mother left me. I 
do not know how I could have lived had I not had your 
constant care. But, after all, I must look higher. How 
low my aims are ! I hear the call, Look unto me, but 
it often is unheeded. Give my love to the dear ones 
around you. How many you have to cheer you in 
Mendham ! Meetings are as frequent as ever, and all 
take part." 

On the evening of Sunday, June 23d, a praise service 
was held in the church. The writers whose hymns 
were sung that evening were Eobert Murray McCheyne 
and Dr. and Mrs. Horatius Bonar. The Bonars were old 
friends of Mr. Carter, who, by request of his son, gave 
some very interesting reminiscences concerning them. 
He closed his address with the words, "The night 
cometh. Shall we all meet together in the morning ? " 
As the old man spoke, his aged friend, Bonar, the poet 
preacher, was stepping down to the banks of Jordan, 
and only one more Sabbath was the speaker himself 
permitted to spend in the earthly sanctuary. On that 
Sabbath, — June 30th, — Mr. Carter visited the Sunday 



222 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

school, heard his son preach twice, and spoke at an 
open-air prayer meeting in the woods. As he rose to 
speak, one who noticed how feeble he was moved his 
own chair so that he might catch him if he fell. 

He had expected to go with some of his children and 
grandchildren to Sharon Springs on July 8 th, and every 
arrangement was made for the journey ; but on Saturday, 
July 6th, he was taken with a return of the illness which 
he had had several times the winter before. A mes- 
sage was sent to his daughter late on Saturday night, 
and at an early hour on Sunday she was at his side. 
One of his grandchildren, looking from the window, 
said to him, "Grandpa, here is aunt getting out of a 
carriage at the door." "Ah! I knew she would come," 
he said, in tones of joy and affection, and his welcome 
was with all his wonted tenderness, — more was hardly 
possible. 

Then began a struggle, which lasted nearly six months, 
in which skilled physicians and loving watchers strove 
to ward off the assaults of disease and death. It was 
an unequal struggle, and would have been still more so, 
at his advanced age, but for his splendid powers of en- 
durance. His physician never examined him without 
exclaiming over the breadth and depth of his chest, 
and saying, " Mr. Carter, that is what is pulling you 
through." 

Old and attached family servants came to assist in 
caring for him. Such had always been at his command, 
for in all his fifty-six years of housekeeping a servant had 
seldom left his house, where many had learned the way 
of salvation, except to enter a home of her own. Though 
often in great suffering, and always in much weak- 
ness, not a murmur ever passed his lips. On the con- 
trary, words of thanksgiving and praise were often there. 



DAYS OF ILLNESS. 223 

For weeks he was confined to his bed, or lifted from it 
with great care to a lounge. Then he rallied sufficiently 
to sit up a little in an invalid chair, and finally was able 
to walk, with two supporting him, through the hall and 
adjoining rooms. This was a great pleasure to him, and 
he evidently was very proud to show off his powers of 
locomotion to his physician. He always wanted family 
prayers held in his room. On a very few occasions, 
when he seemed too ill, they were held in the sitting- 
room, but his disappointment was so great that it was 
thought best to have them as quietly as possible at his 
side. The Bible was read to him a great deal, and 
every morning he wanted to hear the daily portion from 
Dr. J. R. Miller's beautiful " Come ye apart." This was 
the third year of his reading it through, and he enjoyed 
it as much as ever. All through his illness he frequently 
repeated Cowper's hymn, — 

" Hark, my soul, it is the Lord, 
'T is thy Saviour, hear his word. 
Jesus speaks and speaks to thee, 
Say, poor sinner, lov'st thou me ? " 

He never tired of the beautiful words, and wanted all 
his grandchildren to learn them. 

His brother, Mr. Peter Carter, visited him at least 
once a week while he was at Boonton. Three of his 
children were with him all the time, and the fourth, 
at Huntington, Long Island, came as often as possible. 
Two of his clerks who had been with him, one for 
thirty-seven, the other for thirty-three years, also 
came out to see him. The firm of the Carters had been 
remarkable for the long continuance of employees in 
its service. One, who died in 1885, had been with 
them for forty years. Like all their employees, he 
was a man of sterling integrity. The same year their 



224 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

porter died, having been thirty-three years with them. 
At the time of these deaths, there was no one in the 
establishment who had not been there twenty-five 
years. 

One day, in the early part of his illness, he said to 
his brother Peter, who was a partner in the business : 
" I have been for many years a member of the Board 
of Foreign Missions, and it has been a great blessing to 
me. I want you to send a thousand dollars to the 
Board from me. And the work of Christ in our own 
country is of equal importance, so I want to send a 
thousand dollars at the same time to Home Missions." 
He did not say it, but it was evident that he felt that 
these were dying gifts. He had always felt very strongly 
the duty of being his own executor, making all his gifts 
with the living hand. 

On the first day of September there was a communion 
service in the church. An attached domestic who had 
lived with him thirteen years first made the suggestion 
that the Lord's supper should be given to him. After 
a little consultation, he was asked if he would like such 
a service, and he eagerly assented. After church the 
elders came over to the parsonage, and, with those of 
his children, grandchildren, and servants who were in 
Boon ton, assembled in the sick-room. He sat pillowed 
up in bed, looking very venerable and saintly, like the 
patriarch Jacob surrounded by his children. His eldest 
son conducted the service, which was a very tender 
one. He spoke of its being just sixty-seven years that 
month since his father first partook of the communion, 
and of all who then were with him having passed over 
the river. " Rock of Ages," and " Jesus, Lover of my 
Soul," were sung. Mr. Carter said afterwards, that it 
was most delightful to have so many of his children 



DAYS OF ILLNESS. 225 

with him, adding, " God bless them all." It was some- 
thing to remember in eternity. The wonderful mingling 
of joy and sorrow on such an occasion is something 
that the world cannot comprehend. He was to drink 
no more of the fruit of the vine until for him the king- 
dom of God should come. 

For a while after this he seemed to be a little 
stronger. He was not in the least nervous, and the 
going and coming of a large family about him seemed 
very pleasant to him. Grandpa's room was the centre 
of everything to the large household. By and by he 
was able to be carried down to the sitting-room daily, 
and even to take his place at the table, to which he 
was wheeled in an invalid chair. Several times he was 
lifted into a carriage and took a short drive. The first 
time he went, he remarked, " I never expected to drive 
out again." One day he happened in conversation to 
speak of Cowper's "Negro's Complaint," and said, 
" That is a very fine poem. I wish my grandchildren 
would learn it. I will give a dollar to every one of 
them who will repeat it to me." He seemed greatly 
gratified as one after another of the children visiting or 
living in the house came to him to recite the verses, 
until he had given his dollars to thirteen of them. 

On October 15th he was taken back to the city. He 
was lifted into an easy carriage at his son's door, lifted 
again, and laid on the sofa of the drawing-room car. 
where he said he was just as comfortable as in his bed 
at home. His skilful and kind physician accompanied 
and saw him safely in his bed in his own house, and 
then gave his case over into the hands of his New 
York doctor, who was equally skilful and kindly. As 
he was carried into the house, he exclaimed, " I never 
expected to see my home again." He was frequently 

15 



226 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

heard to thank God that he had allowed him to spend 
that last summer in the household of his son, and spoke 
with great affection of the constant solicitude of his 
children for him. 

Several times after reaching the city, he was able to 
be carried down stairs, and go for a drive in the Cen- 
tral Park, but at last his physicians decided that this 
was too great a risk. It was a great disappointment 
to him to give up his drives, but he bore it cheerfully, 
as he did all privations and sufferings. The doctor laid 
his hand on his shoulder one day, and said, " Mr. Car- 
ter, you are the most patient man I ever saw in my 
life. A team of horses could not draw a complaint 
from you." 

Another day a friend said to him, " It must be a 
great pleasure to you to look back on your well-spent 
life, and think of all the good you have done." " Oh 
no, no ! I have been very, very unworthy. I have no 
reliance but in the atoning sacrifice of my Saviour." 

He was able to see his friends, and his social nature 
took great pleasure in their visits. His brother Peter 
came to him every day, and all through his illness he 
kept the run of the business and knew all that was 
going on at the store. He kept watch of political mat- 
ters, and in the question of the revision of the Con- 
fession of Faith took a keen interest, having all the 
newspaper reports read to him. Once when there was 
something said in debate that seemed to him personal 
and unchristian, he said, " We have had enough of that. 
Read something else." In this question of revision 
his feeling was that there were some expressions that 
might better be changed, but he did not favor wholesale 
alterations. In all such matters his motto was, " In 
essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things 



HIS LAST BIRTHDAY. 227 

charity." His mind was so clear and his interest in all 
about him so keen, his conversational powers so unim- 
paired, that the visits of his friends were a great pleas- 
ure to him and to them. Dr. John Hall was a frequent 
visitor, and when one of the family thanked him for 
his kind attention, he replied, " No need of thanks, my 
visits are not at all unselfish. It is a pleasure to have 
intercourse with such a man as your father." He 
greatly enjoyed a call from Dr. McCosh, and the two 
talked over the question of revision at great length, 
and with entire unanimity. It seemed as if all his old 
friends rallied about him with words of affection and 
cheer. 

His eighty-second birthday was on November 2, and 
was remembered by many thoughtful friends with gifts 
and visits and letters. His grandchildren at a dis- 
tance, even very little ones, wrote their congratulations. 
The following letter from Eev. Dr. J. E. Miller, whose 
" Come ye apart " was his daily companion, was re- 
ceived at this time : — 

" I have just seen a notice in the New York Evangelist, 
that to-morrow will be your birthday. I am constrained to 
write a word of sincere congratulation. There are many 
things upon which you are to be congratulated. One is, 
that through the grace of Christ in you, your life has been 
such a blessing to the world, so full of usefulness, such an 
educating, uplifting influence. You will never know the 
full value of what you have done until in eternity you see all 
the results and inspirations when the harvest is gathered. 

" Another thing on which your friends cannot but con- 
gratulate you and felicitate themselves is, that your useful 
life has been so long spared, that year has been added to 
year until you have now passed your fourscore. It has been 
a great joy and blessing to all who know you that the tree 



228 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

has been left standing so long, that hungry ones might sit 
in its refreshing shade and eat of its ripened fruits. 

"Another thing on which you should be congratulated is, 
that you have outlived neither your usefulness nor your 
welcome in this world. Some old people do both. But you 
are enjoying in the mellow eventide of your life the love of 
loyal friends, and the esteem and regard of the thousands to 
whom you have been a blessing, and are still bringing forth 
fruit in old age. 

" One other cause for congratulation is that you have an 
immortality before you, bright with rich possibilities of 
growth, in which you are going to continue to work for 
Christ. This is the best of all. The ' endless life ' beyond 
the shadows of mortality is a great deal more real than the 
broken years we live in this world. There the oldest are the 
youngest, and all life is toward youth. 

"May God continue you for many other years of use- 
fulness here, and then introduce you to an eternity of 
glorious life." 

A few days later came the following letter from Dr. 
Cuyler: — 

"I often, often think of you, and wish T was so near that 
I could come in and enjoy a grasp of your honest hand, and 
a look into the face that has shone for half a century in the 
light of God's countenance. How I love you, and rejoice 
to have spent so many hours with you in this world ! But 
many more, I trust, up yonder. 

" I send to you one of my late articles, written for those 
shut up in sick-rooms, entitled ' Prisoners of Jesus Christ/ 
Perhaps it may be to you also a love message. I hope that 
I can get over soon to see you, but my work is heavy, con- 
stant, pressing, and I am not quite so hearty as usual. 

" Thanks, — thanks for the unspeakable gift of Christ 
Jesus to us both, and to our loved ones. 

" Ever yours, till the day break in glory." 



ILLNESS. 229 

A few days later, Dr. Cuyler called, and had a most 
delightful talk with his aged friend, whom he described 
as dwelling in the land of Beulah. 

On his birthday and all through his sickness, he 
greatly enjoyed the beautiful flowers that were sent 
him, and his grandchildren loved to bring them to 
him and witness the look of pleasure that spread 
over his face as he received them. He had always 
been very fond of flowers, and as he walked the street 
in his days of health, he would stop before the florists' 
windows and rejoice that there were so many more 
of them than there used to be to delight the passer 
by. Often he would quote from Milton's Lycidas the 
description of the flowers brought 

" To strew the laureate hearse where Lycid lies," 

and remark that " the glowing violet " had a line all to 
itself. When some one reminded him of the enormous 
sums spent on floral decorations, so perishable in their 
nature, he said, " It is certainly a very different ex- 
travagance from that which squanders money on cigars 
and whiskey." 

His love of conversation continued strong to the last. 
He indulged in lively reminiscences of his past days. 
On the last Sunday, December 15, in which he was able 
to converse, one of his grandsons who sat beside him 
drew him on to speak of many of the prominent men 
and women whom he had known, and at last said, 
" Grandfather, whom do you consider the most remark- 
able person you ever knew ? " He turned to him with 
a bright look, and said earnestly, " My wife." The true 
and tender heart beat faithfully for her alone, until death 
stilled it. 

As Christmas approached, he remembered his accus- 



230 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

tonied gifts. For several years he had not been able 
to do any Christmas shopping, but had sent instead a 
check to each of his sisters, and also one to each of his 
children to be divided among the grandchildren. 

One of the last things he spoke of consciously was to 
tell his son Robert to be sure not to forget the grand- 
children's money, and his brother Peter to be sure to 
send the sisters their checks, and not to neglect the con- 
tribution sent every December from the firm to Foreign 
Missions. His ruling passion of benevolence was strong 
in death. 

His last conscious moments were on Christmas day. 
The grandchildren living in the house brought their 
offerings to him, and he spoke admiringly of a Japanese 
vase filled with beautiful roses ; and when two of the 
younger ones gave him an illustrated copy of " Eab and 
his Friends," he spoke of the author, and said, " I knew 
him well years ago." These were his last words. He 
sank into a sleep, and never awoke till he was in the 
presence of the King in his beauty. He entered into 
rest in the early morning of Saturday, December 28, 
1889. His life of love and service on earth is ended, 
but in the heavenly home Christ's " servants shall serve 
Him, and they shall see His face, and His name shall 
be in their foreheads." 



FUNERAL SERVICES. 



(~\N December 31, Kobert Carter was laid beside his 
^^ beloved wife in Greenwood. The funeral services 
were held in the Scotch Presbyterian Church. The 
attendance was very large, and many remarked on the 
great number of noble-looking old men who were present, 
— men who had co-operated with him in many a good 
word and work. Several of the benevolent Boards of 
which he was a member attended in a body. His pastor 
wrote of it : "I never remember such a funeral, or such 
united whole-hearted testimony to the purity of the life 
that was being remembered. Dr. Shedd said afterwards, 
' Mr. Eobert Carter was without exception the best man 
I ever knew.' Testimony like that from such a source 
is worth more than any number of funeral sermons." 

PRAYER. 
Rev. G. W. Alexander, D. D. 

Almighty God, Framer of our bodies, Father of our 
spirits, we come to Thee with voice of thanksgiving, 
even though we come with voice of tears. We praise 
Thee, we bless Thee, we magnify and adore Thy won- 
derful grace unto the children of men. We thank 
Thee for Jesus Christ, the Son of Thy love, and for the 
glorious Gospel that is preached in his name. We 



232 LITE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

thank Thee for the power of Thy Spirit, whereby Thou 
dost renew sinful men and make them to be children 
of the Most High God. We thank Thee for Thy 
watchful care over Thine own, we thank Thee for the 
good and holy examples of those who have finished 
their course in patience keeping the faith, we thank 
Thee for the hopes of the Gospel, and while we ask 
Thee for comfort for those who mourn and strength for 
those who struggle here, we call upon our hearts and 
all within us to praise and bless and magnify Thy 
holy name, while we look forward to the fulfilment of 
our blessed hope in the kingdom of our Lord and Mas- 
ter Jesus Christ. 

And now we ask Thee to be with us during this ten- 
der and solemn service, that Thy name may be glori- 
fied and our souls blessed through Jesus our Lord. 

READING OF SCRIPTURE. 

HYMN. 

" Servant of God, well done ! 
Rest from thy loved employ." 

ADDRESS. 
Rev. S. M. Hamilton, D.D. 

We are not here to-day to mourn sadly. We are 
here to acknowledge the goodness of God in this well 
rounded life just closed on earth with the blessings of 
thousands upon it. We are here to thank God for this 
friend whom He has taken from our earthly fellowship, 
and to rejoice in the hope of immortality. 

All of you knew Robert Carter, and to know him 
was to honor him and love him. Affection in its fitful 
way will recall this quality and that, will solace itself 



FUNERAL SERVICES. 233 

with this characteristic and that, perhaps in some way 
not intrinsically important, but for my part I do not 
care to analyze him to-day. Personality is more than 
quality, and to my mind and heart it is the man who 
presents himself, — the friend, the father, the brother, 
the fellow helper, the servant of God who lived and 
worked among us. 

The secret of his beautiful and useful life is easily 
told. He loved Jesus Christ with all his heart, and 
like his Saviour, and for his Saviour's sake, he went 
about doing good. And that was the whole of it. In 
his presence, no one could doubt the truth and power 
of the Gospel. He manifested continually the reality 
of the great spiritual light that comes from Christ. All 
his conduct was instinct with the spirit of his Master. 
Wherever he went he diffused a sweet savor of Christ. 
For more than fifty years he was in active business in 
this city. During that long period he made no enemies, 
but gathered about him a multitude of friends. He was 
more than a bookseller. He never published books sim- 
ply to make money. He never printed a book for the 
mere reason that it was likely to sell. He only printed 
it after he had satisfied himself that it was calculated 
to do good. The imprint of his firm was never put on 
any unwholesome book. Thank God that all business 
men in this city are not intent on making money by 
all means and any means. Numbers of them are 
actuated by no low motives, and convert their business 
into the highest religious service. And with Mr. Car- 
ter this was particularly the case. Who will estimate 
what he has done for the highest, truest welfare of his 
countrymen by the circulation through more than a half- 
century of thousands upon thousands of good and hon- 
est and pure books ? 



234 LITE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

But our departed friend was something more than a 
Christian business man. For years and years a large 
proportion of his time was devoted to religious and 
benevolent work of various kinds. He enjoyed such 
work, for God had bestowed upon him gifts that pe- 
culiarly fitted him for it, — a vigorous mind, a sound 
judgment, a strong will, a happy temperament, sweet 
affection, and ready speech. And had you asked him 
how it was that he gave so much of himself, so much 
of his time and labor to these causes, he might have 
been surprised at the question, and would have an- 
swered, simply, " The love of Christ constraineth me." 
For where has the philanthropy of our day its real 
root and inspiration ? Not in atheistic and commu- 
nistic theories, — no indeed, — but solely in the Gospel 
of Jesus Christ, and distinctively in the great ideas of 
the incarnation and the atonement of Christ, — the prac- 
tical constraint of those wondrous conceptions of God's 
unspeakable love in the gift of His Son. 

Mr. Carter was one of the founders of the New York 
Sabbath Committee, and an interested member of it to 
the last. He gave much of his time to the work of the 
American Bible Society, while the cause of Foreign 
Missions lay very near his heart. One of the last acts 
which he did was to make arrangements for the pay- 
ment of his annual contribution to that Board, of which 
he had been a member for many years, and a useful 
member. Princeton Seminary was very dear to him. 
In the general cause of education he always took a 
special interest, and for a very good reason. Like many 
another Scotch youth who has achieved success in life, 
he had in his early life to fight hard for an education. 
When nine years of age he was taken from school and 
set to work at the loom with his father in his humble 



FUNERAL SERVICES. 235 

cottage. But, possessed of an unquenchable thirst for 
knowledge, he had a board fastened at his left hand and 
placed a book upon it, and so read and worked all day 
long, sometimes, often, from dawn until ten or eleven at 
night. In that way he succeeded, with a little outside 
help, in learning to read Latin and Greek with fluency, 
and in preparing himself for what was then his ambi- 
tion, the work of a teacher. Is it strange that a boy of 
that stamp grew into such a man, and is it strange that 
through all his life young men struggling to get an 
education aroused his warmest sympathies, and that 
many a worthy youth was helped by him to college 
and seminary ? But I cannot take time now to speak 
of the objects and institutions that enjoyed his wisdom 
and his generous gifts. Any good cause was sure of 
his sympathy. 

In this church Mr. Carter's death leaves a sad va- 
cancy. For fifty-eight years he was an honored and 
active member of it. What a record for a man in this 
changing city life of ours ! It was in 1831 that he 
emigrated from Scotland, landing here on the 16th of 
May in that year. The first Sunday he was in the 
city he asked in his boarding-house where he could 
find a Scotch church. The reply was, " You mean the 
Scotch church ; that is in Cedar Street, and Dr. Mc- 
Elroy is the pastor." He worshipped there that first 
Sunday, and from that day until his death he remained 
through all its changes unswervingly loyal to this old 
church. I remember my venerable predecessor saying 
to me, when I began my pastorate here, " You will find 
Eobert Carter a tower of strength." So indeed I did. 
No minister could have had a more sympathetic hearer, 
or a more tireless helper. He never shrank from any 
work for this church, even though it might be disagree- 



236 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

able to him. His judgment was always to be relied 
upon, his purse was always open, he took an interest in 
everything that was going on ; he knew the rich and the 
poor, and he had the confidence of both. How wonder- 
ful his prayers were ! How they used to inspire us in 
the prayer meeting ! He prayed like a man who walked 
continually with God. One of the sweetest things 
about him was his love of children. To the very last 
he was a constant and always welcome visitor in the 
Sunday school, and the children loved the kindly old 
man who talked to them so earnestly and tenderly. 
Yes, indeed, he will be missed here. This gap in our 
midst long years may not fill. 

Many of you know far better than I do what he was 
to the Presbyterian Church at large, what part he took 
in some of the most important events connected with 
our Church, what a well known figure he was in many 
a General Assembly, always listened to with respect, 
beloved by everybody because of the purity of his char- 
acter and the wealth of his Christian service. 

A few weeks ago an eminent English clergyman lay 
dying, and as he neared his end his mind began to 
wander. He fancied himself back in the church courts 
or committees where he had been prominent, and he was 
heard to whisper again and again, " Let us discuss the 
matter kindly" When I read those beautiful words 
yesterday I thought at once of Robert Carter, — that 
was the spirit he ever sought to introduce into debate 
and controversy, — Let us discuss the matter kindly. 

No, dear friends, we cannot mourn. We sympathize 
with this large company of relatives, children, grand- 
children, brothers, who have lost the centre around 
which for years they have lovingly gathered, but we 
thank God for this blessed memory. We thank God 



FUNERAL SERVICES. 237 

that he gave us such a friend as this for so long. Could 
there have been anything more beautiful than that quiet 
falling asleep last Saturday morning, with the earthly 
work all done, — well done ? Perhaps you may remem- 
ber these beautiful words of Lord Bacon. "Above all," 
he says, " believe it, the sweetest canticle is Nunc di- 
mittis, when a man hath attained worthy ends and 
conceptions." 

If concerning the heavenly reception of any servants 
of God on earth certainty be possible, then be assured 
this beloved friend has heard the wondrous words, 
" Well done, good and faithful servant." He has entered 
into that ineffable joy to which they are a prelude. We 
bless God for what he is enjoying now, we bless God 
that through the riches of Divine grace we may hope to 
meet him again in that happy land. The years are 
vanishing away ; another is all but gone ; yet if we are 
living as forgiven children of the Lord Jesus Christ, we 
may lift up the voice of confidence, and rejoice that as 
the years go we too are going home, — home to God, to 
Christ, to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to all 
whom we have loved long since and lost awhile. 

ADDRESS. 
Rev. Dr. McCosh. 

I have been requested to say a few words in testi- 
mony, and they will be very few. In attending meet- 
ings designed to promote any good work either at home 
or abroad, I have noticed that if Mr. Carter was pres- 
ent, everybody turned to him at the opening of the 
meeting to lead us in prayer. " Out of the abundance of 
the heart, the mouth speaketh." Because he spoke out 
of the abundance of the heart, as he was thus invited 



238 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

to conduct our devotions, we felt as though we were 
raised near to God. He was near himself, and his 
prayers seemed, on the one hand, as though they came 
from the very depths of the heart, while, on the other 
hand, they were such as would reach the ear and heart 
of God. 

I often heard him describe how he felt when he left 
his native country to come to America. He came with 
good recommendations from Professor Pillans, with 
whom he had studied, — a fine scholar ; but what was 
more important, he came trusting in God, and with 
the firm purpose that he would never swerve to the 
right nor to the left from the path of duty. 

He was from the first distinguished for great integrity. 
I can testify to this fact. As a publisher of many of 
my works, I found that it was not needful to make 
bargains with him. I left everything to his honor, and 
found that I could trust him and trust him implicitly. 
And so did everybody ; the character he bears in this 
regard will not soon be forgotten by those who had 
transactions with him. 

The substance which through the blessing of God he 
was enabled to accumulate, and the great influence 
which he was permitted to exert, were always devoted 
to good ends. Many a young man might testify : " All 
I have in life I owe to Eobert Carter. He spoke a good 
word to me. Perhaps I was falling into temptation, 
perhaps I was coming under the influence of evil. He 
spoke a good word to me at some crisis of my life ; per- 
haps he opened some office or situation to me." Many 
a young man might testify to that effect. 

During his life he was identified with many good 
causes in this great city, and in this respect he has left 
behind him a precious remembrance. 



FUNERAL SERVICES. 239 

But it was as a publisher of books that he was pre- 
eminent. He never published a book which he had 
not read with great care, nor one which was likely to 
injure any reader. The books that he published will 
remain long after he is gone, and will be read by the 
young and will guide them in the way, and will be read 
by the old and comfort them in their declining years. 

I want to express my gratitude to God that it was 
through Eobert Carter that my works were introduced 
into this country, and that introducing them here was 
the means indirectly of bringing me to this country, 
and placing me in the sphere in which my later life 
has passed. 

He has left behind him an example and influence such 
as few are permitted to leave, and the remembrance of 
him will cheer and solace us through the remainder of 
our days. 

HYMN. 
"Lead, kindly Light." 

PRAYER. 
Rev. T. L. Cuyler, D. D. 

O Thou infinite Jehovah, who art from everlasting 
to everlasting, Thou art the hope of Thy people in all 
generations. With Thee there is no beginning and no 
end of years. We adore Thee as our covenant-keeping 
God. We thank Thee that once more Thou hast ful- 
filled Thy promise to them that are planted in the house 
of the Lord, that they shall flourish in the courts of our 
God, that they shall bring forth fruit in old age, that 
their boughs shall be green and full of sap, that they 
will never be forsaken, and that whatsoever they do 
shall prosper. 

We thank Thee with all our hearts for this long, 



240 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

happy, and holy life, and now that our beloved brother 
has returned unto his rest, we thank Thee that Thou 
hast dealt so bountifully with him. We thank Thee 
for his early Christian training in that land hallowed 
by the blood of Thy martyrs, and for those sacred influ- 
ences which entered into the very fibre of his being, 
and continued with him through long years. 

We thank Thee that Thou didst spare him so long in 
our midst, and didst permit him to lay his hand to so 
many good works. We thank Thee that Thou didst 
make him an almoner of blessings to be scattered far 
and wide, of leaves of the tree of life for the healing 
of the nations. 

We thank Thee, God, for all Thy goodness to him 
throughout this earthly journey, and that when he was 
drawing near unto the end Thou didst not leave him 
nor forsake him. But we rejoice that during these last 
months Thou wert with him, that Thou didst give unto 
him delightful intercourse with Thee in the land of 
Beulah, that Thou didst grant unto him a foretaste of 
the fruits which are exceeding sweet to the soul, and 
didst permit his eyes to behold the blessed land not 
very far off. 

We rejoice in our brother's triumphs and testimonies 
for Christ, Christ only, Christ his rock, Christ his hope, 
Christ his everlasting heritage and glory. 

And now we pray that Thou wilt sanctify unto us 
this departure of one who is exceeding dear to us, and 
we pray that Thou wilt hallow this dealing of Thy 
providence to us all, and to the many who are with us 
in heart, but cannot be at this sacred service of love this 
morning. Vouchsafe, O gracious Father, an abundant 
blessing unto his children and children's children, and 
now that their beloved father and mother are joined 



FUNERAL SERVICES. 241 

together in heaven, let heaven draw nearer and be 
sweeter and dearer to them, and may the very spirit of 
heaven, whither their parents have gone, be in their 
hearts and homes. Thou wilt not leave them lonely, 
for they shall evermore rejoice in his God, and may 
his name and influence and holy example be unto 
every one of them a precious and enduring inheritance. 

And we commend now this morning those associated 
with our brother in labors of love for the Master. We 
commend unto Thee his associates in the Board in which 
for the last half-century he has toiled and given him- 
self without stint for the advancement of the Master's 
kingdom and glory. While the workers go, O Thou 
great Overseer of the building, let the work go on. 
Give unto us another to step into the place made va- 
cant, to put his hand to the holy ark that is in need of 
such strong arms to carry it forward. O, let not the 
Church of God suffer, but rather let it be enriched by his 
example, and may the heritage of his influence and his 
prayers go down in abundant blessings. 

We commend unto Thee the pastor and members of 
his church, this society he so much loved, and where 
his voice has been so often heard in testimony for Thee. 
Let the beloved name of our brother, his influence and 
his spiritual power, remain in the earth, sweet as oint- 
ment poured forth and filling evermore the place of 
prayer here as with the odor of God's own influence. 

We commit unto Thee all Thou seest before Thee, 
many of whom are worn with the heat and burden of 
the day. Let us live looking over the verge, and feel 
that behind the veil is eternal life, and the great, eter- 
nal mighty harvest. So let us go from this place 
ennobled, chastened, purified, lifted up into a new view 
of the glorious hereafter. 

16 



242 LIFE OF KOBERT CARTER. 

And now we ask that Thou wilt go forth with these 
beloved ones as they shall bear from this his spiritual 
home this body which was so long the temple of the 
Holy Ghost. May they bear it tenderly to the narrow 
house appointed for all living. We thank Thee that it 
is not a hard spot to lie in, that the adorable Jesus 
made it bright and pleasant, that His light has poured 
into and illumined it, and that Thou hast hallowed 
the place in which the forms of thy ransomed and re- 
deemed shall slumber. Guard the dust until the hour 
when Thou shalt bid it rise to be transformed into the 
likeness of our Lord. Eeturn these friends to their 
homes, and talk with them as Thou didst with those 
at Bethany. Draw them close to Thee, and thus ever- 
more in the blessed fellowship with the beloved whom 
Thou hast taken. 

Guide us all by Thy counsel, receive us all at last to 
the glories that Christ has prepared for them that 
love Him, be our God and Guide, and when heart and 
flesh fail us, give us, as Thou didst to our brother, 
clear consciousness, and the eye single, and the whole 
soul full of love. Be Thou the strength of our heart 
and our portion forever, and give us all a place among 
the followers of Him who hath loved us and washed 
us by His blood, and hath made us kings and priests 
unto God, and the blessing, and honor, and glory, and 
power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, 
world without end. Amen. 

HYMN. 

" Shall we gather at the river." 

BENEDICTION. 
Rev. Dr. McCosh. 



RESOLUTIONS OF SOCIETIES. 



RESOLUTIONS OF THE BOARD OF MANAGERS OF THE 
AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY. 

r PHE Board of Managers of the American Bible Society 
**• desire to place on record an expression of the loss they 
have sustained in the departure from their midst of their 
honored associate and friend, Mr. Robert Carter. 

He was elected a Manager on the nomination of the Rev. 
Dr. De Witt, in the year 1855, and in 1878 was chosen a 
Vice-President. From the beginning until the end of his 
long service he evinced an earnest and unwearied interest 
in the wide and varied details of the work of the Society. 
To him the Holy Scriptures were the oracles of God. With 
a profound and abiding conviction that a personal knowl- 
edge of the truths which they contain was as essential to 
every human being as to himself, he viewed with devout 
thankfulness every movement that increased the circulation 
of these Scriptures, alike in Pagan and Christian lands. 

For his fidelity to the trusts committed to him by this 
Society; for his constant and useful labors in the educa- 
tional and missionary work of the Church of God ; for his 
far-reaching and enduring influence as a publisher of Chris- 
tian literature ; for his lifelong example of simple Christian 
living and thinking ; for his constant witness to a good con- 
fession ; for the full assurance of a comfortable hope in his 
death, — we would render thanks to Almighty God, into 
whose presence he has now entered, to go out no more 
forever. 



244 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

The Board of Managers direct that this paper be placed 
on the minutes, and published in the " Bible Society Rec- 
ord," and also that a copy be sent to the family of Mr. 
Carter. 



RESOLUTIONS OF THE SABBATH COMMITTEE. 

At a special meeting of the New York Sabbath Committee 
the following minute was adopted. 

God having called home to Himself Mr. Robert Carter, 
one of the founders of the New York Sabbath Committee, 
and the last survivor but one of its original members, the 
Committee desires to record the great respect and affection 
with which Mr. Carter has always been regarded by his asso- 
ciates, our grateful recollection of the wise counsels and gen- 
erous contributions with which he has unfailingly sustained 
the Committee's work, and our heartfelt praise to God for 
the peaceful end with which the long life of His servant has 
now been crowned. 

To the family of our late associate the members of the 
Committee express sincere sympathy, commending them to 
the grace of the Lord Jesus, into whose presence he whose 
loss they mourn has now entered. 

It was further resolved that the Committee attend the 
funeral of Mr. Carter. 



RESOLUTIONS OF THE BOARD OF FOREIGN MISSIONS. 

The Board of Foreign Missions having received intelligence 
of the death of Mr. Robert Carter, one of its members, a 
special meeting was held at the Mission House, December 31, 
1889, at which time the following action was taken. 



RESOLUTIONS OF SOCIETIES. 245 

The Board would express its deep sense of the great loss 
which the cause of Foreign Missions has sustained in the 
death of one of its oldest and most faithful members. 

Mr. Carter was appointed to this trust by the General As- 
sembly in 1843, and continued in this relation till the time 
of his death. His work as a publisher gave him rare oppor- 
tunities for promoting the general interest of Missions. The 
early publications of the Board were conducted by his firm, 
involving much gratuitous labor on the part of himself and 
his family. In his general work as a publisher, also, which 
for more than fifty years was devoted largely to religious 
books, many of which bore directly upon the extension of the 
cause of Christ, he constantly contributed to the growth of 
a missionary spirit both in his own and in other Christian 
churches. During all his long connection with the Board 
he was a faithful attendant upon its sessions, ever ready to 
assume his full share of labor and responsibility, and never 
failing as a wise and judicious administrator of the work. 
Though careful in his judgment, he was ever ready to heed 
the indications of Providence, and to advocate every wise 
measure of progress. He was a large contributor to the 
funds of the Board according to his ability, and contin- 
ually carried the interest of its great work upon his mind 
and heart. 

Mr. Carter was pre-eminently a man of prayer. His ear- 
nest and tender supplications for the outpouring of the Spirit 
upon missions will long be cherished by his associates as a 
sacred and inspiring memory. He was peculiarly courteous, 
genial, and kindly in all our deliberations. He seemed ever 
to be prompted by the spirit of Christ, and to be filled with 
love for those about him. Honest differences of opinion 
were always regarded with forbearance, and he has left only 
the remembrance of kind words and acts through all his 
period of service. Even after his health became enfeebled, 
and he was able to take but little part, his presence con- 
tinued to be a benediction. The Board would express its 



246 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

gratitude to God for so long continued and eminent a ser- 
vice, and its sorrow that it has been brought to a close. It 
would also express its deep sympathy with the surviving 
members of his bereft family. 

Engrossed copies of this Minute were ordered sent to the 
family of Mr. Carter and to the Session of the Scotch Pres- 
byterian Church of this city, in which he had been a Ruling 
Elder. The Board also resolved to attend the funeral of 
Mr. Carter in a body. 

John Gillespie, Secretary. 
53 Fifth Avenue, New York. 



OBITUARY NOTICE. 



THE secular and religious press all over the country, 
and even across the seas, contained appreciative 
notices of Mr. Carter's life and character. None of these 
gave a truer idea of him than the following, copied from 
the Independent. 

Knowing that others who have had a far longer acquaint- 
ance with him than I have will give some account of the long 
Christian life just ended, I would like to add only a few per- 
sonal reminiscences, not telling of the things he did, except 
as showing what manner of man he was. 

Becoming acquainted with him only as he was nearing 
his threescore years and ten, I remember being attracted 
first hy his positive, crisp conversation, with the strong 
Scotch utterance. But I am sure that my love first went 
out toward him when noticing his loyal, almost lover-like 
thoughtfulness for the sweet-faced, gray-haired wife who was 
always with him, in doors or out. How well I recollect one 
morning when we were awaiting news from an old lady friend 
who was very ill. One of Mr. Carter's grandchildren had 
started for the post-office the minute the mail was due, and 
the dear old couple sat hand in hand by the window, eagerly 
awaiting his return. When the letter came, and was read 
aloud, announcing the friend's convalescence, the two gray 
heads bent toward each other with a kiss of thanksgiving, 
and an earnest " Thank God." It was characteristic not only 
of their oneness of sympathy with each other, hut their deep 



248 LITE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

affection for absent friends. Months afterward a friend across 
the water alluded to this incident as "an object lesson in the 
art of growing old gracefully." So habitual was it for the 
old couple to need each other's presence at all times, to refer 
to each other, even to wait for each other in coming in to 
their meals, that the night after his wife had suddenly but 
gently passed into glory he went up-stairs when the family 
were summoned to tea, and came down again alone, saying 
sadly, "I almost forgot ; I was going for your mother." 

Friends will mention concerning Robert Carter that he 
was for fifty years a member of the Foreign Mission Board ; 
for nearly as many a director of the Bible Society; seventeen 
times a delegate to the General Assembly; for sixty-eight 
years an active member of the church, most of that time, 
indeed, a teacher, Sunday school superintendent, and elder 
in the church ; but the mere statements do not carry the 
story of the deep religious life, and the steady good judgment 
in church matters, which was the reason for his occupying 
such positions. To " make sure he was right, and then go 
ahead," was his habit. He was not afraid of responsibility, 
neither was he afraid of the hard work which justified his 
claim to be trusted with it. The same set of principles were 
in steady use in business, in church, and in home life. He 
never knew any antagonism between business and Christian 
living. His business success gave weight to his opinions in 
benevolent enterprises, and his connection with mission and 
Bible work gave character to his business ; and if in his home 
life there was more of the affectionate and tender solicitude 
of the husband, the father, and the grandfather, he was still 
the same man that he was in the store, — alert, straight- 
forward, and kindly. 

Most emphatically was he the "head of the family" up 
to the last year of his long life. Not often is a man of 
eighty-two looked up to for advice, depended upon for coun- 
sel by the whole family connection, as he was. The grand- 
children, as they chose their life-work, or settled in homes 



OBITUARY NOTICE. 249 

of their own, were guided by his good judgment. One grand- 
son, just entering on his first pastorate, another practising 
law, another lately married, each felt unwilling to make im- 
portant decisions until sure of Grandfather's approval ; and 
to say " Grandfather thinks it best" was an argument not to 
be gainsaid. Through many temptations at school and at 
college, Grandfather's strongly expressed convictions formed 
a barrier of safety to the young people. His strict integrity 
was a stronghold of power. One of his sons, in some busi- 
ness transaction involving the transfer of some considerable 
sum, expressed surprise at no security being required by the 
banker who was party to the transaction. M Ah ! " said the 
banker, " if I could not give you ten thousand dollars on 
the simple word of your father, I would go out of business ! " 
Well it is for us that there are men in our community whose 
steadfast uprightness is a lesson to a younger generation. 
Let us thank God for such names, — names which are synon- 
ymous with unflinching integrity. Happy all children and 
grandchildren who bear the heritage of such a name ! In 
the parishes of his sons and son-in-law he had many warm 
friends. Long will the people remember, in a prayer meet- 
ing in Boonton, New Jersey, (the home of his eldest son,) the 
reading by Mr. Carter of the first chapter of John's Gospel in 
a Scotch version. It was published in the " Sunday School 
Times" of February 4, 1888, and Mr. Carter had cut it out 
and carried it in his pocket-book. Never before had the 
chapter seemed so full of tender and marvellous sweetness 
as when our Scotch friend read it in the accents of his child- 
hood. I never think of Nathanael but I seem to hear him 
called the "leal heartit Israelite wi' nae guile in him," and 
the verse, " But as mony as took him till them, to them gied 
he richt to be God's bairns," holds a sweeter meaning than 
ever before. 

It was in this church that his voice was last heard in 
public. The occasion was one of a series of praise services, 
when pastor and choir united in giving expression to the 



250 LIFE OF ROBERT CARTER. 

life and singing the hymns of certain hymn writers. Bonar 
and McCheyne were under consideration that evening, and 
Robert Carter gave some account of Horatius Bonar from 
personal reminiscences. His closing words, referring to his 
friend, were, " Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of 
glory." Both have entered into rest since that Sabbath in 
June, and it is theirs to wear to-day the crown of glory that 
fadeth not away, and they praise Him forevermore. 



THE END. 



Deacidified using the Bookkeeper process. 
Neutralizing agent: Magnesium Oxide 
Treatment Date: May 2006 

PreservationTechnologies 

A WORLD LEADER IN PAPER PRESERVATION 
1 1 1 Thomson Park Dnve 
Cranberry Township. PA 16066 
(724)779-2111 



«p pgg 



LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 




017 787 705 +